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Feral Children and Clever Animals: Reflections on Human Nature Paperback – 1 Feb 1996

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (1 Feb. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195102843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195102840
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.8 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


... an eye-opening history of psychology... (Nature)

... provides an enlightening analysis of language, intelligence, and learning... Scholarly and sensitive, this is absorbing reading. (Booklist)

Original and entertaining. (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Douglas Keith Candland is Professor of Psychology and Animal Behavior at Bucknell University. He has written for publications as diverse as The New Yorker and American Psychologist, and is the author of Psychology: The Experimental Approach (Second Edition, 1978), Emotion (1977), and Psychology (1962).

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book was well-written and easy to understand, even if the reader has no previous knowledge of the intellectual traditions and psychological perspectives that the author draws upon - he explained himself well as the book progressed.
Candland used a wealth of research to create a discussion of the nature-nurture debate within his book, and he achieved this in a relatively balanced way. The overall aim of the book was to gain insight into the psychology of humans by way of studying animal behaviour. Although the author was unable to make any precise conclusions in the book (what psychologist can?!!), he put forward views from behaviourists, psychoanalysts, and phenomenologists, for the reader to judge on their own merits.
Candland used examples of animal behaviour such as horses counting, apes using sign language, and dogs judging their owner's behaviour. He also recounted the mental development of such feral children as Kasper Hauser, and the Singh's Wolf Children after they had been reintroduced to human society. All of this research was used to try to come to an understanding of human nature.
All in all, a very good book, full of interesting insights, facts, discussion points, and much more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9a1d24f8) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a187090) out of 5 stars Interesting Material, Boring Presentation 3 Jan. 2002
By Kelly A. Garbato - Published on
Format: Paperback
Although I found the subject matter of this book to be extremely interesting, I thought that the author's writing style was dry and boring. It was difficult for me to get through an entire chapter without falling asleep. His thesis was rather unclear, so I also had trouble trying to figure out just what point he was arguing. Of course, it's the only book like it that I've been able to find as of yet - so he definitely gets credit for originality.
HASH(0x9dc2212c) out of 5 stars Extremely Engaging and Intelligent Overview 31 Oct. 2013
By Carolyn A. Waggoner - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book because of an ongoing interest in feral children and the treatment of non-human primates in our culture. Also as a way of enriching my reading of Karen Joy Fowler's incredible novel, "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves."
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