Synopses & Reviews
Dogs are smarter than cats, dolphins and chimps are more clever than both, and we who determine the rankings top the scale--or so we think. But are we thinking clearly? To appreciate the mental abilities of the owl and the pussycat, the tortoise and the hare, requires a commitment to unraveling the nature of intelligence--a tricky and controversial proposition that Sonja Yoerg sets out to explore in this learned, lucid, and entertaining book about our complicated, often erroneous notions about animal intelligence.
With forays into evolutionary biology, behavioral science, and comparative psychology, Clever as a Fox reveals the promise and pitfalls inherent in any attempt to assess animal intelligence. Along with the concepts we deploy to define and compare intelligence, Yoerg looks at the expectations and prejudices that cloud our judgment of the animal mind, perceptions shaped as much by Aesop and Disney as by direct observation of our fellow creatures. And because such perceptions are inextricably linked with judgments of value--ideas about animal mentality have much to do with which species end up on our laps and which on our plates--this deeply revealing look at how we think about animal intelligence should help us use our own intelligence more wisely.
A lively, literate book, loaded with case studies on animal behavior, intellect, and instinct. Publisher's Weekly
Leavened with humor, Yoerg's clear, logical and well-written discussion of a complex subject will lead even the casual reader in to a much better understanding of the many answers to the question 'what is intelligence?' Booklist
About the Author
Sonja I. Yoergis a former researcher and lecturer in Psychology at the <>University of California, Berkeley, and at the <>Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.