Social Processes and Mental Abilities in Non-Human Primates Evidences From Longitudinal Field Studies

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This anthropological inquiry into the nature of non-human primates considers group social dynamics, organization and behavior as local phenomena with transcendent properties. Rejects the neo-Darwinian view that social behavior is subject to natural selection and that genetic determinism underlies manifest patterns. New models are introduced concerning: where behavior lies (Paterson, Hornshaw); what the meaning of proximal domain of behavior is to the actors (Burton); problems of epistemology within primate studies that have sent primatologists off track (Chan, Hornshaw, Burton, Zeller); nature of interaction among young female orangutans and the history of the development of solitary patterns (Galdikas); and how patterns of communication code intricate, complex information of social significance (Burton, Zeller). Includes maps, photographs, glossary of technical terms, and a joint bibliography with chapter numbers.


"This book presents a number of new perspectives on a timely topic. Its greatest strengths are in discussion of local group tradition and the inclusion of the chapters questioning the methodology and assumptions used to study social cognition. . . . a valuable resource to students interested in social cognition, and should be especially useful for graduate seminar discussions. Moreover, the models presented could be potentially expanded into testable hypotheses provided an impetus for further research." - Mara Arguete in American Journal of Primatology

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