Chimpanzee culture wars : rethinking human nature alongside Japanese, European, and American cultural primatologists (eBook, 2020) [WorldCat.org]
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Chimpanzee culture wars : rethinking human nature alongside Japanese, European, and American cultural primatologists

Author: Nicolas Langlitz
Publisher: Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2020]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Do apes share with humans the capacity to acquire qualities not inherent in their nature? Debates within the field of primatology over the last century keep coming back to this fundamental question, which compels us to reexamine our understanding of culture and of the nature-culture divide. This book is an ethnography that examines both the modern history of this controversy and its contemporary manifestations in  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Langlitz, Nicolas, 1975-
Chimpanzee culture wars
Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2020]
(DLC) 2020002525
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Nicolas Langlitz
ISBN: 0691204268 9780691204260
OCLC Number: 1138995963
Description: 1 online resource (xi, 407 pages) : illustrations
Contents: Cover --
Contents --
Preface --
Prologue --
Introduction --
1. The Birth of Cultural Primatology from the Spirit of Japanese Uniqueness --
2. Multiculturalism beyond the Human --
3. Chimpanzee Ethnography --
4. Controlling for Pongoland --
5. Japanese Syntheses --
6. Field Experiments with a Totem Animal --
7. Salvage Primatology --
Conclusion --
Epilogue --
Notes --
References --
Index
Responsibility: Nicolas Langlitz.

Abstract:

"Do apes share with humans the capacity to acquire qualities not inherent in their nature? Debates within the field of primatology over the last century keep coming back to this fundamental question, which compels us to reexamine our understanding of culture and of the nature-culture divide. This book is an ethnography that examines both the modern history of this controversy and its contemporary manifestations in both Japanese and Euro-American primatology. In so doing, it reveals the diversity of views on culture in the community of primatologists. The Kyoto School of primatology first proposed - in the 1950s - that nonhuman primates possess culture. Kyoto primatologists were ridiculed at the time by European and American sociocultural anthropologists and primatologists, who dismissed such views as anthropomorphic wish fulfilment. Decades later, starting in the 1980s, Japanese cultural primatology was given a second look as Euro-American primatologists began to debate amongst themselves the question of whether Homo sapiens is the only cultural animal. In the most recent chapter of this controversy, field researchers such as the Swiss primatologist Christophe Boesch have accused experimental psychologists such as Michael Tomasello of underestimating and even denying the capacity of chimpanzees for culture because they limit their studies to captive animals, brought up under cognitively debilitating conditions and tested in laboratory settings bound to favor human test subjects with whom the animals are compared. These controversies raise serious questions about what sort of laboratory culture is best for the study of primate cognition. Nicholas Langlitz's data comes from ethnographic research conducted in four locations: at Christophe Boesch's field sites in the Ivory Coast and Gabon; in Michael Tomasello's laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany; in Tetsuro Matsuzawa's laboratory of chimpanzee cognition at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute in Japan; and at Matsuzawa's outdoor laboratory in Guinea. The book ends on a melancholic note. With the eradication of most higher primates in the next fifty to one hundred years all but certain (given the continuing loss of habitat due to continuing environmental degradation and expansion of surrounding human populations), these contentious issues surrounding chimpanzee cultural diversity are being hashed out just as this and related higher primate species are being wiped out"--

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