Apes, Language, and the Human Mind
Oxford University Press, Jun 18, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 254 pages
Current primate research has yielded stunning results that not only threaten our underlying assumptions about the cognitive and communicative abilities of nonhuman primates, but also bring into question what it means to be human. At the forefront of this research, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh recently has achieved a scientific breakthrough of impressive proportions. Her work with Kanzi, a laboratory-reared bonobo, has led to Kanzi's acquisition of linguistic and cognitive skills similar to those of a two and a half year-old human child. Apes, Language, and the Human Mind skillfully combines a fascinating narrative of the Kanzi research with incisive critical analysis of the research's broader linguistic, psychological, and anthropological implications. The first part of the book provides a detailed, personal account of Kanzi's infancy, youth, and upbringing, while the second part addresses the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological issues raised by the Kanzi research. The authors discuss the challenge to the foundations of modern cognitive science presented by the Kanzi research; the methods by which we represent and evaluate the abilities of both primates and humans; and the implications which ape language research has for the study of the evolution of human language. Sure to be controversial, this exciting new volume offers a radical revision of the sciences of language and mind, and will be important reading for all those working in the fields of primatology, anthropology, linguistics, philosophy of mind, and cognitive and developmental psychology.
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able actions animal cognition anthropomorphic ape language argument asked assertion ball behave bifurcationist bonobo brain Cartesian chase child childside chimpanzees common chimpanzees commonsense communicational abilities complex context critic Descartes Descartes’s discourse Epistemic epistemological conception epistemological skepticism evidence example explain expression fact females gestures grammatical human infer innate intentions interaction Jeannine Kanzi and Panbanisha keyboard language games lexigrams linguistic look males Matata means mental metalinguistic claim method of evaluation mother nature nonhuman objects one’s picture play possesses the concept Press the red primate primitive problem psychological question red button reductive method refer response rhetorical rules Savage-Rumbaugh scientific sense sentence Sherman and Austin simply skeptical skills social someone sorry sort sounds speak speech sugar cane symbols talk Tamuli tell tence theory of mind things thought tickle tion understand utterances vervets vocal wanted words
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