chapter  16
• THE HUMAN INFANT AS “HOMO IMITANS”
ByAndrew N. Meltzoff
Pages 24

A central goal of this book is to bring together essays on social learning and imitation in animals and man. This goal builds upon a long-standing question asked at least as far back as Aristotle. Aristotle (1941) was quite decisive in his evaluation of the comparative imitative capacities of man and animals: “Imitation is natural to man from childhood, one of his advantages over the lower animals being this, that he is the most imitative creature in the world, and learns at first by imitation” (p. 448b).