Mitchell, Robert, Lyn Miles, and Nick Thompson (eds.)
Anthropomorphism, Anecdotes, and Animals
New York: SUNY press, 1997

Contributor Gordon M. Burghardt's abstract: The problem of understanding other species' experience is a longstanding one that was abandoned, for some good reasons, after the behaviorist revolution. It is now making a comeback. A good source for an informed and sometimes contentious discussion of the issues is the newly released Anthropomorphism, Anecdotes, and Animals (SUNY press) edited by Bob Mitchell, Lyn Miles, and Nick Thompson. Although already available it has a 1997 publication date and is available in paperback. My contribution to the book is a chapter titled "Amending Tinbergen: A Fifth Aim for Ethology", in which I explicitly argue for a concerted effort to study the private experience of other species. Brain imaging is one of several new techniques that make an assault more likely to succeed than at the turn of the century. I try to unite the concerns and approaches of B. F. Skinner, J. von Uexkull, D. O. Hebb, Frans de Waal and other unlikely bedfellows. The many topics covered in the book include ape language, mirror recognition, symbolic communication, and a fair amount of methodological, philosophical, and historical material. In any event, the topic is once again open for discussion in ethology, psychology, and primatology. 


Gordon M. Burghardt, Department of Psychology,
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-0900

Maintained by Francis F. Steen, Communication Studies, University of California Los Angeles