Animal Intelligence

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Read Books, 2006 M05 1 - 536 pages
ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE BY GEORGE J. BOMANES, M.A. LL.D. F.R.S. ZOOLOGICAL SECRETARY OF THE LIXXEA SOCIETY FIFTH EDITION LONDON KEGAN PAUL, TBENCH, TKUBNEK, CO. LTD, PATERNOSTER HOUSE, CHARING CROSS ROAD 1892 WHEN I first began to collect materials for this work it was my intention, to divide the book into two parte. Of these.. intended the first to be concerned only with the facts of animal intelligence, while the second was to have treated of these facts in..their relation to the theory of Descent. Finding, however, as I proceeded, that the material was too considerable in amount to admit of being comprised within the limits of a single volume, I have made arrangements with the publishers of the International Scientific Series to bring out the second division of the work as a separate treatise, under the title 4 Mental Evolution. This treatise I hope to get ready for press within a year or two. My object in the work as a whole is twofold. First, I have thought it desirable that there should be something resembling a textbook of the facts of Comparative Psychology, to which men of science, and also metaphysicians, may turn whenever they may have occasion to acquaint themselves with the particular level of intelligence to which this or that species of animal attains. Hitherto the endeavour of assigning these levels has been almost exclusively in the hands of popular writers and as these have, for the most part, merely strung together, with discrimination more or less inadequate, innumerable anecdotes of the display of animal intelligence, their books ire valueless as works of reference. So much, indeed, is this the case, that Comparative Psychology has been virtually excluded from the hierarchy of the sciences. If we except the methodical researches of a few distinguished naturalists, it would appear that the phenomena of mind in animals, having constituted so much and so long the theme of unscientific authors, are now considered wellnigh unworthy of serious treatment by scientific methods. But it is surely needless to point out that the phenomena which constitute the subjectmatter of Comparative Psychology, even if we regard them merely as facts in Nature, have at least as great a claim to accurate classification as those phenomena of structure which constitute the subjectmatter of Comparative Anatomy. Leaving aside, therefore, the reflection that within the last twenty years the facts of animal intelligence have suddenly acquired a new and profound importance, from the proved probability of their genetic continuity wifh those of human intelligence, it would remain true that their systematic arrangement is a worthy object of scientific endeavour. This, then, has been my first object, which, otherwise stated, amounts merely to passing the animal kingdom in review in order to give a trustworthy account of the grade of psychological development which is presented by each group. Such is the scope of the present treatise.

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