Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind

Baboon Metaphysics
Baboon Metaphysics

Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth, authors of “How Monkeys see the World” and co-authors of “Primate Social Systems” have published yet another thought provoking book on their studies of baboon.

In 1838 Charles Darwin jotted in a notebook, “He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.” Baboon Metaphysics is Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth’s fascinating response to Darwin’s challenge.
Cheney and Seyfarth set up camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, where they could intimately observe baboons and their social world. But Baboon Metaphysics is concerned with much more than just baboons’ social organisation- Cheney and Seyfarth aim to fully comprehend the intelligence that underlies it. Using innovative field work, the authors learn that for baboons, just as for humans, family and friends hold the key to mitigating the ill effects of grief, stress, and anxiety.
I found this a very interesting read, and it’s a must for everyone who thinks that social comparisons between humans and primates are limited to apes.

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