Why this book?
For a long time I’ve had the feeling that we undersell animals by looking at their capabilities all wrong. We tend to judge their intelligence by human standards, which is a little bit like suggesting a person speaking a foreign language is making no sense. Albert Einstein purportedly wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Animals see the world differently, which is a thing of great beauty in most cases, and something I feel I’m a better person for studying. Someone finally approached animals without the overwhelming human bias, and I have to say it's about time.
Why should I read it?
2 authors picked Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
Hailed as a classic, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition-in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos-to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we've underestimated their abilities for too long. Did you know that octopuses use coconut shells as tools, that elephants classify humans by gender and language, and that there is a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame? Fascinating, entertaining, and deeply informed, de Waal's landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you…