on 24 November 2001
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.