Shanker, Stuart G.

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Shanker, Stuart G.

(S.G. Shanker, Stuart Shanker)

PERSONAL: Male. Education: University of Toronto, B.A., 1975, M.A., 1978; Oxford University, B.A., 1977, B.Phil., 1981, D.Phil., 1984.

ADDRESSES: Office—Milton & Ethel Harris Research Initiative, York University, HNES Bldg., Rm. 421, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Psychologist, educator, and writer. York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, distinguished research professor of philosophy and psychology, director of the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative. Also codirector of the Council of Human Development and chair for Canada of the Interdisciplinary Council of Learning and Developmental Disorders.

WRITINGS:

(Editor, as Stuart Shanker) Ludwig Wittgenstein: Critical Assessments, Croom Helm (Dover, NH), 1986.

(Editor, with John V. Canfield) Wittgenstein's Intentions, Garland (New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor) Philosophy of Science, Logic, and Mathematics in the Twentieth Century, Routledge (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Talbot J. Taylor) Apes, Language, and the Human Mind, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Wittgenstein's Remarks on the Foundations of AI, Routledge (New York, NY), 1998.

(Editor, with David Bakhurst) Jerome Bruner: Language, Culture, Self, Sage (Thousand Oaks, CA), 2001.

(With Stanley Greenspan) Toward a Psychology of Global Interdependency: A Framework for International Collaboration, ICDL Press (Washington, DC), 2002.

(Editor, with David Kilfoyle) Ludwig Wittgenstein: Critical Assessments, Routledge (London, England), 2002.

(With Stanley I. Greenspan) The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved from our Early Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans, Da Capo Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.

AS S.G. SHANKER

(Editor) Philosophy in Britain Today, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1986.

(With V.A. Shanker) A Wittgenstein Bibliography, Croom Helm (London, England), 1986.

Wittgenstein and the Turning-Point in the Philosophy of Mathematics, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1987.

(Editor, with G.H.R. Parkinson) Routledge History of Philosophy, ten volumes, Routledge (London, England), 1994–2000.

(Editor) Gödel's Theorem in Focus, Croom Helm (New York, NY), 1998.

Contributor to books, including Wittgenstein and Quine, edited by R.L. Arrington and H.J. Glock, Routledge (London, England), 1996.

SIDELIGHTS: Stuart G. Shanker is an expert in ape and child language development and has written extensively about these areas. In Apes, Language, and the Human Mind, which Shanker wrote with Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Talbot J. Taylor, the authors focus on the issue of the ability of apes both to understand and use symbols. They discuss the history of research in this area and present their theory that new approaches in research are needed. "They suggest that a wholesale revision is necessary before science can truly understand the significance of ape abilities and performance," wrote Thomas Wynn in the Quarterly Review of Biology, adding that the book "is probably not for novice or casual readers" in this area.

Shanker collaborated with Stanley I. Greenspan to write The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved from our Early Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans. Shanker and Greenspan discuss cognitive development over the centuries, beginning with humans' early ancestors. They also explore the importance of an emotional connection between the mother, or other caregiver, and the infant as the basis for good cognitive development while rejecting the theory that language development is primarily a natural part of the human brain's biological "wiring." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that the authors "maintain that symbolic thinking has been molded by cultural practices dating back to prehuman species." Writing in the Quarterly Review of Biology, A. Charles Catania commented that "in its breadth and illuminating details, this book will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the origins of language." In a review in Library Journal, H. James Birx called The First Idea "a significant book on the crucial role that emotions play in the social development of human intelligence." A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that the authors present "a thorough, fairly readable study of cognitive development."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 2004, Gilbert Taylor, review of The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved from our Early Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans, p. 181.

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2004, review of The First Idea, p. 671.

Library Bookwatch, January, 2005, review of The First Idea.

Library Journal, November 1, 2004, H. James Birx, review of The First Idea, p. 118.

Publishers Weekly, July 26, 2004, review of The First Idea, p. 46.

Quarterly Review of Biology, June, 1999, Thomas Wynn, review of Apes, Language, and the Human Mind, p. 249; September, 2005, A. Charles Catania, a review of The First Idea, p. 382.

ONLINE

Council of Human Development, http://www.councilhd.ca/ (March 26, 2006), brief profile of author.

Curled Up with a Good Book, http://www.curledup.com/ (March 26, 2006), Megan Kopp, review of The First Idea.

Milton & Ethel Harris Research Initiative (MEHRI) Web site, http://www.mehri.ca/ (April 18, 2006).

York University Department of Philosophy Web sitehttp://www.arts.yorku.ca/phil/ (March 26, 2006), faculty profile of author.

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