You are here




Chapter 1 Living and Non-Living
Introduction / The two basic questions: (1) The differences between non-living and living; (2) The differences between animals and man / The relations between the sciences / Restricted and unrestricted sciences / Knowledge of the “objective” world / The approach of the physicist / Thunderstorms and organisms compared / The approach of the biologist / The nature of the organisation shown by living beings / The idea of hierarchy / Self-programming as one of the most basic features of living organisms / The concepts of information, its storage and transmission and “programming” / Perception and learning in organisms.
Chapter 2 Storage, Coding, and Accumulation of Information in Simple Organisms and their Relation to the Processes of Evolution
Biological reproduction and natural selection / Storage and coding of information by organisms / The accumulation of information in lower organisms / Essential differences between plants and animals in relation to their evolution / The development of ideas concerning the movements of animals / Complexity of movements and “perceptions” in a simple animal (Microstomum) / The orienting movements of animals / Animals as machines / Natural selection as an explanation of the origin of animal mechanisms / The dualism of matter and mind as seen by neurophysiologists / Popper's worlds 2 and 3.
Chapter 3 Animal Languages
I. Communications in invertebrates and lower vertebrates.
Animal communication as “language” / Hockett's system adapted / Chemical recognition and communication: Pheromones / Evolution of chemical communication in the most primitive animals / Slime moulds / Sea anemones / Marine worms / Molluscs / Crustacea / Spiders: chemical and mechanical signalling / Dancing bees: the perfection of invertebrate communication / Ants: chemical signalling / Insects: signalling by sound / Fireflies: signalling by light flashes / Fishes: communication by chemical, electric, and pressure senses / Communication among amphibia and reptiles.
II. Vocal communications in the higher vertebrates, especially birds.
Birds as the most vocal animals excepting only Man / Information content of the songs of birds: Message and Meaning / Call notes of birds / Call notes adapted to signalling different types of danger / Bird song—signals indicative of both species and individual / Neural templates for song—innate and acquired / Song learning by imitation in birds / Sea birds—The fullest development of individual recognition by voice / The perfection and complexity of the aural sense in birds as compared with that of man / Imitative ability in the Indian Hill Mynah / Summary of vocal auditory communication in birds / Bird language and human speech / The song of the Humpbacked Whale / Audio-perception in bats.
Chapter 4 Innate Behaviour versus Acquired Behaviour
The problem of instinct / The history of the instinct concept / The influence of Darwin / The rise of ethology / The characteristics of instinct / The relation between environmentally stable and environmentally labile behaviour / The two natural divisions of a life history / Fixed action pattern, consummatory acts, and consummatory stimuli / Nesting behaviour / The analysis of bird songs / Drives / Neurophysiological aspects / Hormones and motivation / The effects of specific and non-specific stimuli / The relation to genetic factors / Instinct and information / The estimation of complexity / Preliminary statement on learning.
Chapter 5 Animal Perception
The types of learning relevant to perception and perceptual organisation / Insight, or exploratory learning / Latent learning, or exploratory learning / Field observations on insects and birds / Laboratory observations / Recognition of pattern / Rate of perceptual development—laboratory animals versus those in their natural habitats / Perceptual achievements of birds during migration and homing / Form and pattern in evolution / The evolution of beauty / Beauty in bird song / Aesthetic sensibility in animals.


Chapter 6 The Development of Human Behaviour
The meaning of “Human Nature” / The nature versus nurture controversy / The development of human behaviour / Perception during foetal life / Fixedaction patterns in the infant / Innate behaviour in infants / Vacuum activities and consummatory acts / Imprinting and the sensitive period / The development of affectional bonds in primates / Effects of social isolation on juvenile development / Effects of early separation from mother / The development of attachment behaviour in monkey and human infants compared.
Chapter 7 Aggressive Behaviour
The social life of free-living primate groups / The leader of the monkey troop and the social influence of his “central group” / Primitive proto-cultures / Rarity of intergroup aggression in chimpanzees / The gorilla / The causes of aggression / Group aggressiveness not inevitable / Territory / The essential differences between territory in birds and in mammals / Social hierarchies / The effects of excessive crowding / Aggression and competition / Brain mechanisms and emotion / Emotional behaviour / Psychopharmacology / Drug dependence in animals / From aggression to war Group violence in human societies / The pornography of violence / Evolutionary crises.
Chapter 8 The Uniqueness of Man
The differences between animals and man / The use of tools / Brain size and human evolution / Tool use and tool construction / Mental development as following on tool use / Ritual anthropophagy / Psychic factors as likely determinants of the course of hominid evolution / From language to speech / Chimpanzees learning “speech” / Imitation as essential for language learning / Perceptual synthesis in birds and higher mammals compared / The question of syntax / Number and abstraction / Man's speech as unique / Art and a sense of values / Significant visual form / Significant musical form / The problem of the musical sense in birds.
Chapter 9 Problems of Consciousness
The meaning of “consciousness” / The experiencing self / Popper's three-world theory / Psycho-physical parallelism as without meaningful content / Neuronal mechanisms in perception / The identity hypothesis inadequate / Neural mechanisms in consciousness / Consciousness as a primary datum of existence / Consciousness of animals / The emergence of consciousness as great a mystery as life itself / Consciousness in man and animals / Dependence of man's higher faculties on intact brain structures / The relevance of brain surgery / Uniqueness of personal experience / Brains and computers / Free will / Making up one's mind / Diminished responsibility / The limits of mind / Paranormal cognition / Ways of knowing.
Chapter 10 Emergence and the Human Spirit
Emergence and transcendence / Refutation of reductionism / Hierarchy / Reductionism and nihilism / Man as a religious animal / The concept of the soul / The knowledge of death / The concept of creation / Fitness of the environment / Idea of the supernatural / Natural religion / The supreme duty of man.