Animal Awareness. Current Perceptions and Historical Perspective

An examination of the writings of 19th and early 20th century comparative psychologists indicates that they were well aware of many of the issues raised by the recent “cognitivism ” in psychology and ethology. George John Romanes and C. Lloyd Morgan are particularly underappreciated. A survey of current lay attitudes on mental continuity between humans and nonhumans shows that emotional continuity is considered more likely than intellectual continuity and that acceptance of evolution favorably disposes people to both. Critical anthropomorphism often aids in formulating testable hypotheses, but cognitive approaches to animals are in danger of suffering a fate similar to the earlier comparative mentalism. © 1985 American Psychological Association.

An examination of the writings of 19th and early 20th century comparative psychologists indicates that they were well aware of many of the issues raised by the recent “cognitivism ” in psychology and ethology. George John Romanes and C. Lloyd Morgan are particularly underappreciated. A survey of current lay attitudes on mental continuity between humans and nonhumans shows that emotional continuity is considered more likely than intellectual continuity and that acceptance of evolution favorably disposes people to both. Critical anthropomorphism often aids in formulating testable hypotheses, but cognitive approaches to animals are in danger of suffering a fate similar to the earlier comparative mentalism. © 1985 American Psychological Association.

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