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Comparative CognitionExperimental Explorations of Animal Intelligence$
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Wasserman and Thomas R Zentall

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377804.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 November 2019

Comparative Cognition

Comparative Cognition

A Natural Science Approach to the Study of Animal Intelligence

(p.3) Comparative Cognition
Comparative Cognition

Edward A. Wasserman

Thomas R. Zentall

Oxford University Press

Natural science has succeeded in supplanting superstition and religion as explanations for countless worldly events—from eclipses and the tides to infectious diseases and the circulation of the blood. What, then, is the relevance of mentalism to the present volume, which is concerned with the intelligence of nonhuman animals? Quite simply, mentalistic accounts of animal behavior and cognition were proposed early in the history of comparative psychology by none other than Charles Darwin. This book places cognitive ethology into logical and methodological perspective and lobbies on behalf of what may be a preferable alternative to the mentalistic movement in behavioral science. The other scientific school, termed comparative cognition, counts among its growing members most of the contributors to the current volume. This introductory chapter discusses a series of central issues in the study of cognition that separate these two prominent approaches to the comparative study of human and animal intelligence.

Keywords:   Charles Darwin, natural science, comparative cognition, mentalism, cognitive ethology, animal intelligence, nonhuman animals, behavioral science, animal behavior

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