Anthropomorphism, Anecdotes, and Animals (SUNY Series in by Robert W. Mitchell, Nicholas S. Thompson, H. Lyn Miles

By Robert W. Mitchell, Nicholas S. Thompson, H. Lyn Miles

Humans normally imagine that animals are psychologically like themselves (anthropomorphism), and describe what animals do in narratives (anecdotes) that help those mental interpretations. this is often the 1st e-book to guage the importance and value of the practices of anthropomorphism and anecdotalism for figuring out animals. diversified views are awarded in considerate, severe essays by means of historians, philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists, behaviorists, biologists, primatologists, and ethologists. the character of anthropomorphism and anecdotal research is tested; social, cultural, and old attitudes towards them are awarded; and medical attitudes are appraised. Authors supply attention-grabbing in-depth descriptions and analyses of numerous species of animals, together with octopi, nice apes, monkeys, canine, sea lions, and, after all, humans. matters approximately, and recommendations for, reviews of a number of mental points of animals are mentioned, together with psychological country attribution, intentionality, cognition, cognizance, self-consciousness, and language.

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And something very like modesty when begging too often for food. A great dog scorns the snarling of a little dog, and this may be called magnanimity. Several observers have stated that monkeys certainly dislike being laughed at; and they sometimes invent imaginary offences. In the Zoological Gardens I saw a baboon who always got into a furious rage when his keeper took out a letter or book and read it aloud to him . . (Darwin, 1871/1981, p. 42) The early chapters of The Descent of Man are thick with descriptions of mutually loyal bands of baboons, dreaming cats, and even "ants chasing and pretending to bite each other, like so many puppies" (Darwin, 1871/1981, p.

These characters could be understood often by direct analogy with human character only after a prolonged and intimate acquaintance with the animals. In these studies both the focus and the approach were subjective. Early ethologists were not, however, thoroughgoing anthropomorphists. Klopfer and Hailman (1967) noted that European ethology was permeated with an empathetic, albeit not necessarily anthropomorphic, view of animal behavior. Perhaps it was the wealth of objective detail contained therein that prompted Thomas (1979) to write: I well remember in the early 1950s the sense of welcome escape from anthropomorphism that accompanied my first reading of Konrad Lorenz's King Solomon's Ring, a new orientation reinforced by my perusal of Niko Tinbergen's A Study of Instinct about the same time.

Next page > < previous page page_10 next page > Page 10 duce a picture of this dog's experience of his world which most dog owners and researchers would find plausible (although see Caporael & Heyes, this volume). By contrast, in the study of self-consciousness in animals using self-directed responses to mirrors as evidence, Swartz and Evans show that, rather than leading to a coherent understanding of animal self-consciousness, anthropomorphism and anecdotalism have been used contradictorily both to support theoretical formulations independent of any direct evidence and to deny evidence against these theoretical formulations.

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