Skip to main content

Apes

  • 204 Accesses

Synonyms

Primates

Related Topics

Monkeys, Wildlife, Animals

Introduction

With the development of new technologies and in the context of colonialism and imperialism, early modern Europeans became less isolated. As they came into contact with other societies, they elaborated new philosophical and scientific ideas to investigate and explain social and cultural differences. This applies equally as much to the nonhuman societies they encountered.

Consideration of ideas about apes, those nonhuman animals closest to ourselves, presents a suggestive beginning for investigations of ideas about other types of nonhuman animals.

Thinking About Apes in Early Modern Europe

The term ape includes bonobos, chimpanzees, gibbons, gorillas, humans, and orangutans. In Africa and Asia, various human societies living near nonhuman apes developed practical knowledge and culturally specific ideas about them, but these animals were unknown to Europeans until the early modern period. Although a few early Greek...

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Caldicott J, Miles L (2005) World atlas of great apes and their conservation. University of California Press, Berkeley

    Google Scholar 

  • Corbey R (2005) The metaphysics of apes. Cambridge University Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Corbey R, Theunissen B (eds) (1995) Evaluative proceedings of the symposium ape, man, apeman: changing views since 1600, Leiden, the Netherlands, 28 June–1 July, 1993. Department of Prehistory, Leiden University, Leiden

    Google Scholar 

  • Kemp M (2007) The human animal in Western art and science. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Louden RB (2009) Language: who/what has it? (And were Aristotle and Descartes right?). Hist Philos Q 26(4):373–387

    Google Scholar 

  • Preece R (2007) Thoughts out of season on the history of animal ethics. Soc Anim 15(4):365–378

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Sankey H (2010) Descartes’s language test and ape language research. Teorema Int J Philos 29(2):111–123

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith JEH (2005) Degeneration and hybridism in the early modern species debate: towards the philosophical roots of the creation-evolution controversy. In: Wolfe CT (ed) Monsters and philosophy. College Publications, London, pp 109–130

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith JEH (2007) Language, bipedalism and the mind–body problem in Edward Tyson’s orang-Outang (1699). Int Hist Rev 17(3):291–304

    Google Scholar 

  • Sorenson J (2009) Ape. Reaktion, London

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to John Sorenson .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Section Editor information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this entry

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Sorenson, J. (2019). Apes. In: Jalobeanu, D., Wolfe, C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_158-1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_158-1

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-20791-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-20791-9

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Religion and PhilosophyReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences