Baboon Metaphysics has ratings and 17 reviews. Richard said: Baboons are a fascinating branch of the family tree. We humans have big brains, complex. In Charles Darwin jotted in a notebook, ‘He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.’ “Baboon Metaphysics” is Dorothy. Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind is another addition to Dorothy Cheney’s and Robert Seyfarth’s continuing research into nonhuman primate.

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Some were very bright, others not. But while the scientific study of mind is an exciting prospect, a large dose of humility is in order. Birds evolved to fly; baboons did not. His shriek reflected his outrage at this egregious betrayal of expectation.

It was different in different species, reflecting the particular adaptations of each, and it could change gradually over time, being transmitted from one generation to the next.

Each lineage has its own ranking, so one is either born into a top ranking, middle ranking, or low ranking family.

May 22, John Wylie rated it it was amazing. Baboon Metaphysics is their fascinating response. But more than that, it bears on the evolution of the human metaphyysics and the nature of human existence.

Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind by Dorothy L. Cheney

They have lived sustainably for millions of years. When we claim that a rat has formed an association between bar pressing and a particular type of food, what exactly is the nature of its knowledge? One big difference baboonn the lack of apparent understanding in the baboon that o Scientific tome which cites extensive literature search. Published May 15th by University of Chicago Press.

Baboon Metaphysics

In this as in so much else, Darwin was a man ahead of his time. Their emphasis was to do experiments playback audio to determine similarities and differences between this species of monkey and baoon in social consciousness, language and empathy. Food must be found and defended, predators evaded and sometimes attacked. The Primate Mind in Myth and Legend 3. The second general conclusion to emerge from recent research is that the domain of expertise for baboons—and indeed for all monkeys and apes—is social life.


Chimps and bonobos were lucky. Does the rat think that the bar somehow stands for that food?

From these associations it generates behavior. Baboons live in groups of up toincluding a handful of males and eight or nine matrilineal families of females.

As I wrote previouslyit’s by two primate researchers who have done some very extensive studies of baboons and are assessing the results of those studies to get at the question of whether baboons possess intelligence, self awareness, awareness of others, and any kind of ethical system.

And the mind of a nestling sparrow does not come into the world a tabula rasa—it arrives, instead, with genetically determined, inborn biases that actively organize how it perceives the world, giving much greater weight to some stimuli than to others. We humans have big brains, complex language, and a staggering collection of tools.

Where humans run into serious trouble is when social status is based on personal possessions — horses, gold, flocks, real estate, automobiles, etc. Key chapters in this volume: And brains, Darwin realized, were biological traits like any other.

Once again, this makes mental states unsuitable for scientific study. About Help Blog Jobs Welcome to our new website. Survival of the Beautiful.

Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind

This infanticide custom provides a secondary control on population growth, and encourages the production of badass defender daddies. Like most primates, baboons are social creatures, living in large groups ofwhere individual rank—and the ability to claim food or a mate—is based on a complex web of birth and consort relationships.


Predators happily keep their groups stable. Long ago, primates began as cute insect eating tree critters. In daylight hours, they return to the savannah to forage.

How do baboons actually conceive of the world and their metaphysocs in it? The alpha male baboon is the primary sperm donor in each group. On the practical side, mental states like thoughts or emotions are private. Other titles from Chicago UP. Naturally, living in vast crowds conjures a new class of predators — infectious diseases and degenerative diseases. The Evolution of Mind 2.

Excerpt from pages of Baboon Metaphysics: Males have large canine teeth, and predators are careful to avoid being wounded; they prefer sneaky low-risk surprise attacks.

All this makes Baboon Metaphysics a captivating read. Powerful aggressive males encourage group survival. There are many levels of rank in the group, and every individual knows his or her current position.

The arriving young lads are a threat to the status of the current alpha. What has he learned? Lindsay Lennox rated it liked it Babboon 15, What was Darwin thinking?

Some excelled at performing like ideal students, and others were bored by the numbing tedium of compulsory education. Naturally, living in vast crowds conjures a new class of predators — infectious diseases and degenerative diseases. They flourish throughout the continent, occupying every ecological niche except metaphydics Sahara and tropical rain forests.

Our metaphysics must be the product of evolution.