The Question of Animal Awareness: Evolutionary Continuity of Experience, by Donald R. Griffin. Los Altos, Calif.: William Kaufmann Inc. (95 First St., 94022 ). 209 pp. $8.95.
Do animals think? By taking that question seriously as a subject for scientific research, Griffin has written one of the most significant books issued in recent years. Drawing on a wide range of examples - from sign language experiments with apes to communication among bees - he shows why the issue of animal thinking -- even of some kind of language communication -- is worth pursuing. He doesn't pretend yet to have any definitive conclusions. But there are many suggestive examples.Such research is only beginning to reveal new perspectives on the animal world. The book is speculative, but it offers much to think about.