Many have done this: to some extent, writers have done it.

"Altruists", of which there were about 30%, were also distinguished by high search activity, which is very useful for the population as a whole.

Often, animals risk themselves to save someone who needs help. For example, the chimpanzee Washo, one of the first "talking" monkeys (she was taught amslen), having heard the cry of an unfamiliar female who fell into the water, jumped over a double electric fence to get to a desperately floundering drowning woman, and pulled her out, going into the slippery silt at the edge of the ditch ; and this despite the fact that chimpanzees hate water. So what is altruism? Emotion or need? De Waal does not directly answer this question, but Badridze, who was once beaten off by wolves at the risk of his life from a bear, their sworn enemy, is sure that this is a need. As, however, and love, but this is already according to P.V. Simonov.

A few more words about the book itself. It is read in one breath, like everything in de Waal, but it should be especially noted the excellent work of the translator (M. Desyatov), ​​editor (V. Bologov) and scientific consultant (Z. Zorin). It is not easy to translate the works of Frans de Waal, both because of the complexity of the terminology and because English is not his native language for him, who was born and spent the first half of his life in the Netherlands and only as a mature scientist who moved to the United States.

In conclusion, I can only say: read the books of Frans de Waal, gain new knowledge and at the same time – positive emotions! In addition to Mama’s Last Embrace, The Sources of Morality. In Search of the Human in Primates ”(2013),“ Are we smart enough to judge the intelligence of animals? ” (2017) and Politics in Chimpanzees. Power and Sex in Primates ”(2016).

Literature1. Darwin Ch. The origin of man and sexual selection. Ed. E. N. Pavlovsky. M., 1953.2. Badridze Ya. K. All about the wolf: What, how and why. M., 2018.3. Darwin Ch. On the expression of emotions in humans and animals. SPb, 2013.4. Ladygina-Kohts N. N. Infant Chimpanzee and Human Child: A Classic 1935 Comparative Study of Ape Emotions and Intelligence. Frans B. M. de Waal (ed.). Boris Vekker (trans.). Oxford; N.Y., 2002.5. Brosnan S., de Waal F. Fair refusal by capuchin monkeys // Nature. 2004; 428: 140. DOI: 10.1038 / 428140b.6. Rizzolatti D., Sinigaglia K. Mirrors in the brain: On the mechanisms of joint action and empathy. Per. from English O. A. Kurakova, M. V. Falikman. M., 2012.7. Cheng Y. W., Tzeng O. J., Decety J. et al. Gender differences in the human mirror system: a magnetoencephalography study // NeuroReport. 2006; 17 (11): 1115-1119. DOI: 10.1097 / 01.wnr.0000223393.59328.21.8. Cheng Y., Decety J., Lin C. P. et al. Sex differences in spinal excitability during observation of bipedal locomotion // NeuroReport. 2007; 18 (9): 887-890. DOI: 10.1097 / WNR.0b013e3280ebb486.9. Yang C. Y., Decety J., Lee S. et al. Gender differences in the mu rhythm during empathy for pain: an electroencephalographic study // Brain Research. 2009; 1251: 176–84. DOI: 10.1016 / j.brainres.2008.11.062.10. Cheng Y., Lee P. L., Yang C. Y. et al. Gender differences in the mu rhythm of the human mirror-neuron system // PLOS ONE. 2008; 3 (5): e2113. Doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0002113.11. Schulte-Rüther M., Markowitsch H. J., Shah N. J. et al. Gender differences in brain networks supporting empathy // NeuroImage. 2008; 42 (1): 393-403. DOI: 10.1016 / j.neuroimage.2008.04.180.12. Ben-Ami Bartal I., Shan H. Z., Molasky N. M. R. et al. Anxiolytic Treatment Impairs Helping Behavior in Rats // Front. Psychol. 2016; 7: 850. DOI: 10.3389 / fpsyg.2016.00850.

1 Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904-1990) – American psychologist who made a significant contribution to the development and popularization of behaviorism (from English behavior – ‘behavior’) – a school of psychology that considers the behavior of humans and animals as a result of previous environmental influences … – Hereinafter, note. ed.

2 I mean the Skinner box – a laboratory device for studying animal behavior; is used to study the principles of both operant learning (the acquisition of new experience and its implementation in behavior lead to the achievement of a specific goal) and classical (the development of conditioned reflexes).

3 Nadezhda Nikolaevna Ladygina-Kots (1889–1963) – Russian zoopsychologist, primatologist and museologist, co-organizer of the Darwin Museum in Moscow.

4 For more details see: Simonov P. V. Neurobiology of individuality // Nature. 1997. No. 3. P. 81–89.

Along with the writers’ psychological block (or simply a "plug"), the problems of which are devoted to many articles, studies, as well as works of fiction, there is an equally annoying ailment, namely, the reader’s block, which is paid much less attention and scientific interest. According to the author of the world bestseller "Proust and the Squid", American scientist Marianne Wolfe, reading is not just an acquired skill, but in a way artificial. In fact, this is a grandiose invention, a breakthrough in neurobiology and neurophysiology that happened several thousand years before the terms themselves were first formulated. Reading, in Wolfe’s words, "changed the intellectual evolution of the human species" – and continues to change according to how information conductors transform. Her book to date is one of the most impressive and successful attempts to systematize and present in an accessible language the accumulated scientific knowledge about reading, to expand our understanding of this process itself, and, as a consequence, to deal with the psychological incidents that arise in connection with it. If you have found at least once that some elementary phrase, for example, "a tall, thin man in a green jacket" does not tell you anything at all, does not even give you an approximate sense of color and an idea of ​​the physical qualities of the hero, then no, you are not tired, you have problems; however, solving them is much easier than it seems. Proust and Squid, among other things, is not a panacea, but at least one of the surest remedies.

Academician Andrey Anatolyevich Zaliznyak

The lecture was delivered on February 12, 2016 at the Moomin School.

We are grateful to Andrey Anatolyevich Zaliznyak and the school "Moomin-troll"for the provided transcript of the lecture.

A.A. Zaliznyak: Today I’m going to tell you about what is called "About the life of words." This is, of course, a fairly general name; under this name you can talk about different things. But I basically want to illustrate one thought – with different examples, from different sides: the fact that our words, like our language in general, are the inheritance of our close relatives and more distant ones: grandfathers, great-grandfathers and great-great-great-grandfathers … And it turns out that we are extremely connected, in how we speak, with what has been happening over vast millennia. It is completely naive to believe that we are the masters of our language and can dispose of it, since at the moment we are its speakers. In reality, we are connected by thousands of chains with what happened in former times with our near, middle, distant and ultra-distant ancestors. I think that you will see in various examples how this kind of connection is discovered, which we usually do not think about and, more often than not, do not even suspect.

Language has two fundamental properties that at first glance are opposite to each other, but in fact are quite compatible. It is stability and variability. In this case, of course, stability plays the main role for the language – that is, the equality of the language we use and the language of the previous generation and many previous generations. If we roughly compare, very approximately, the words that, as it seems to us, appeared before our eyes around us today or yesterday, with the entire fund of words that we use, it turns out that the former are a drop in the ocean. Although it seems to you that a lot of words are used, especially in school and other jargons, which you yourself invented or recently heard, which are fashionable, which adults do not know, and so on. It may seem that they are your living language, and thus you have come up with something new. This is an illusion. This is an insignificant upper crust on the huge mechanism of the language, and everything else is inherited by you from previous generations.

But this crust really exists, and small changes in the language always happen. They usually have such an imperceptible character that, while actually living in this language, a person does not notice them at all. And he is very surprised if he is told that the same language, for example, 500 years ago was such that it is difficult to understand. How so? After all, language is something stable. Actually no: these small changes are really happening. Throughout the life of one generation, they are invisible, but gradually they gradually add up, and as a result, after a certain number of centuries, it may turn out that in fact we are already dealing with another language. For example, starting from a certain moment it is no longer worth talking about Latin: what exists in its place in some part of the former Roman world is already, say, French. The same can be said for any other language.

This is such a dialectic, if you like, such a duality. On the one hand, against the background of the fundamental stability of the language, the equality of the language of the current generation to the language of the previous ones, there are small differences. They novel description are found both in grammar and in words. Just in words, they are somewhat more noticeable – you probably know from your own experience that some of your words that you use among yourself, your parents do not understand and ask what it is. Thus showing its obsolescence.

Note that most of these words that you use will have no memory at all in ten years. Perhaps only one of them will survive. Unfortunately (or fortunately), which of these little jargon-type words that appeared in some kind of environment – among schoolchildren, among students, in a criminal environment (the language is fed from a variety of sources) – which one will remain, almost impossible to predict. It is completely unrealistic to realize the ambitions that some very ambitious people sometimes have, that they themselves will come up with some new words of the language and let these words enrich the language. Many have done this: to some extent, writers have done it. There are authors who have a lot of such invented words on their account. But with the only peculiarity that no one knows these words, except for specialists in this poet or writer. For example, there is a huge number of such invented words in the work of Velimir Khlebnikov – and I don’t know any of them that would remain in the language.

I.B. Itkin: Pilot?

N.V. Pertsov: There was a pilot before Khlebnikov.

I.B. Itkin: Was there before Khlebnikov?

N.V. Pertsov: Yes, Khlebnikov borrowed it.

AA: No, of course, he didn’t come up with it. This is a common story.

Nevertheless, sometimes, very rarely, it happens that it is possible to establish who was the first to put out a word, which then survived. You can know who was the first to start the word, who lived a little in a friendly company and after a few years faded – there are many such examples, but this is not of great interest. But the words that for some unknown reason then remained in the language and even entered the literary language – about them it almost always turns out that it is impossible to establish the exact author. Sometimes several authors immediately claim that they were the first to invent it, and even give very convincing stories about how things were when for the first time one of them uttered this word, etc. In the wonderful book of Viktor Vladimirovich Vinogradov, which I want to recommend to you on this occasion, in the "History of Words", in which about 1500 words are discussed in terms of their formation, occurrence, entry into the language, change of meaning, – in particular, there you can read about some words that one can almost reliably say about them who first invented them. For example, the word sky, which is now quite literary, everyone knows it, at some point was reliably invented by the now completely unknown poet-translator of the 18th century Martynov. Vyazemsky ascribes the speech of the leavened patriot to himself – in any case, he very vividly tells the episode of how he invented it. The word gag is usually attributed to Bryullov. So there are several examples of this kind, but their number is insignificant: most often the author is lost, and it is impossible to recognize him. And these, I repeat, are extremely rare cases against the background of all the others, when newly invented words exist for a very short time and do not go beyond that environment – sometimes just a friendly company – in which they arose. I looked in the frequency dictionary for a word that, generally speaking, will even enter to some extent in the literary language – the word comp (apparently, the exact author is already unknown). It has a rank of about 50,000. That is, 50,000 other words are used more often than this word. I also looked at the word “realtor” – its rank is 18,500. So you should not have any illusions about whether the fact that many words like “realtor” have now appeared to have a strong influence on the Russian language.

This is the case with the invention of words. And here’s another seemingly simple question. Why, after all, is some object called so and not otherwise? For example, why is a pig called a pig? Why should there be a starting with, then at, and so on? Why a pig, and not some kind of skun or scallop? That such questions arise is indisputable; I am a witness of a child of about six years old asking a thoughtful question: "Is it true that a pig was called a pig because it is dirty?" (Laughter.) As you can see, there is a keen interest in understanding why it really should work this way. We cannot comprehend why in the composition of any word, be it a pig, be it bread or whatever, there is exactly such a sequence of phonemes, and vice versa, why such a sequence of phonemes is associated with this particular meaning.

This "why" can be understood in different ways. The first understanding of "why" is where it came from. So, – speaking in the most general form, repeating what I said at the beginning – it turns out that almost every phoneme of the word that we now use is rooted somewhere, sometimes in the middle distant, and sometimes in the insanely distant past, perhaps even dating back to the era of the emergence of language as a whole – it is tens of thousands of years. Of course, we know only a very small part of the history of these words. Something about some words can be established (I will try to show you some examples further), but we simply cannot go so far in restoring the history of words, and perhaps even in the future this will not be fully achieved. Nevertheless, sometimes the current state of linguistics allows some penetration to a considerable depth (sometimes for several millennia).

The wonderful thing is that we cannot do anything with the language we use, even if it seems to us that a certain word is too difficult to pronounce. Each phoneme stands in its place; we are not free to take a word and simplify it according to our own individual desire. Sometimes there are, indeed, rather difficult combinations of consonants, about which it would seem – why break the language like that? Any verb to poke – it’s not very convenient to pronounce it, isn’t it? A foreigner in this place will surely stumble very hard.