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The Meaning of Infancy

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Author: John Fiske
Published: 1883
Language: English
Wordcount: 10,345 / 37 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 49.3
LoC Category: QH
Downloads: 630
Added to site: 2004.07.03
mnybks.net#: 8582
Origin: gutenberg.org

I. THE MEANING OF INFANCY From ''Excursions of an Evolutionist''
II. THE PART PLAYED BY INFANCY IN THE EVOLUTION OF MAN From ''A Century of Science''

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and elephants, parrots and monkeys, are all teachable to some extent, and we have even heard of a learned pig. Of learned asses there has been no lack in the world.

But this educability of the higher mammals and birds is after all quite limited. By the beginnings of infancy the door for progressiveness was set ajar, but it was not all at once thrown wide open. Conservatism stilt continued in fashion. One generation of cattle is much like another. It would be easy for foxes to learn to climb frees, and many a fox might have saved his life by doing so; yet quickwitted as he is, this obvious device never seems to have occurred to Reynard. Among slightly teachable mammals, however, there is one group more teachable than the rest. Monkeys, with their greater power of handling things, have also more inquisitiveness and more capacity for sustained attention than any other mammals; and the higher apes are fertile in varied resources. The orang-outang and gorilla are for this reason dreaded by other animals, a

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