GIORGIO VALLORTIGARA

Other Minds. Comparative Study of Animal Cognition

The comparative study of cognition, that was pioneered by Darwin and focuses on the issue of continuity/discontinuity in various species mental processes, has had in the last twenty years a luxuriant development to which diverse disciplines participated: comparative psychology and ecology, neuroscience and developmental psychology, philosophy of mind and evolutionary biology. Starting from the notion that minds, the way we know them today, are the result of a million-years-long biological evolution, this volume analyses in details perception, memory and thought mechanisms, comparatively in humans and animals. The idea that cognitive processes are first of all adaptive qualifications that is, mechanisms crafted by natural selection as solutions to specific problems faced by organisms in their environments, become - in this author's approach - the starting point to the comprehension of minds as natural phenomena.

Giorgio Vallortigara teaches Animal and Comparative Psychology at the University of Trieste.

series "Saggi"
pp. 480, 978-88-15-07382-2
publication year 2000