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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

(p.30) 2 “A More than Animal Intelligence”
Wild Man from Borneo

Robert Cribb

Helen Gilbert

Helen Tiffin

University of Hawai'i Press

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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