Anthropology, Biology, Reviews

Review: Cheney and Seyfarth, Baboon Metaphysics

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Publishers Weekly recently ran a review of the latest from authors Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth, Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind. Ever since Jane Goodall’s groundbreaking work, there have been a plethora of books studying the social lives of primates, but the PW review notes that in Baboon Metaphysics Cheney and Seyfarth’s deft combination of social drama and scientific study makes this book stand out. From PW:

Lovers’ quarrels and murder, greed and social climbing: baboon society has all the features that make a mainstream novel a page-turner. The question Cheney and Seyfarth ask, however, is more demanding: how much of baboon behavior is instinctive, and how much comes from actual thought? Are baboons self-aware?… While describing important research about baboon cognition and social relations, this book charms as much as it informs.

Indeed, Baboon Metaphysics delivers an unprecedented and compelling glimpse into the mind of another species.