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Book Title: Keď slony plačú|
The author of the book: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.10 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.5
Date of issue: 1999
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
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While I agree with the principles in this book, that's all I agree with. There are several reasons.
First and most obvious to many who read it: he has a huge amount of anger towards scientists. I can appreciate this to a large extent, animals have been and are still used in experiments which are horrible. His anger has transcended the normal boundaries to become fanatical. The problem with this is twofold. On the one hand he often makes generalizations which are not always fair (his attacks on animal behaviorists are often off the mark), on the other hand it gets boring after a couple of chapters. He begins to sound like a parrot who knows how to say many things but insists on yelling "scientists are evil, scientists are evil" at all hours of the day.
Second, his arguments are mainly annecdotal. This is often necessary and the author does explain the difficulties in studying emotions otherwise. The problem is that such stories often have multiple interpretations. One example is a story he gives about a boy saved from a venemous snake by a mongoose. He gives this as proof of love- that the mongoose killed the snake because it loved the boy. That is certainly a possibility but is it the only one? After all mongooses kill snakes in the wild all the time. If he could offer proof that mongooses only do so in the presence of family that would be stronger but he doesn't. I don't know if such research exists for mongooses but there is compelling evidence in ground squirrels. Even then, saying it is from love is difficult. It could be (I think they feel love for their families) but it can't be proven. Culture can also play a role in how we read these events but Mr. Masson ignores all these uncomfortable questions.
Finally and most disturbingly, the author misrepresents at least two of his sources. I have read both the Bledsoe and schaller books which he refers to and he misrepresents their statements in the book to give more weight to his arguments. If he did it for them, what about his other sources?
The author attempted to deal with a opic previously inexplored in our culture and he should be commended for that. Unfortunately in most other ways this book fails. I previously recommended this book to friends with an interest in the topic (with the caveat to read it and still think for themselves) but now that Marc Bekoff has published "The Emotional Lives of Animals" I plan on reading that one and hope that I will be able to whole-heartedly recommend that one instead.
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Read information about the authorHe has written several books books critical of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and psychiatry as well as books on animals, their emotions and their rights.
He currently lives in New Zealand with his wife, two sons, three cats and three rats.
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