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Wild Man from BorneoA Cultural History of the Orangutan$
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Robert Cribb, Helen Gilbert, and Helen Tiffin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824837143

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824837143.001.0001

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“A More than Animal Intelligence”

“A More than Animal Intelligence”

Exploring the Species Boundary

Chapter:
(p.30) 2 “A More than Animal Intelligence”
Source:
Wild Man from Borneo
Author(s):

Robert Cribb

Helen Gilbert

Helen Tiffin

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824837143.003.0002

This chapter suggests that by virtue of difference from the terms in which all animals—other than humans—were classified, nosce te ipsum (Know Thy Self) asserted a special status for humans. In the eighteenth century the maxim was an assertion that human intelligence, in the form of rationality or self-awareness, was the essence of human identity. On that note, observations of human-like behavior on the part of the orangutan, alongside the animal's obvious physical resemblance to humans, seemed to mark it as a being that was something more than an animal, even if it might be something less than a human.

Keywords:   Know Thy Self, nosce te ipsum, human intelligence, human-like behavior, orangutan

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