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Tag: animals

Review: Lucas Spiegel’s “The Weight of Empathy”

I first met Lucas Spiegel about 15 years ago while playing club ultimate frisbee at the University of Oregon. He was a beloved captain of the B-team for several years––a quiet, kind, and always-respectful leader whose simple love for the game inspired younger players like me who were just starting out. I don’t remember Lucas [...]

Review: Frans de Waal’s “Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?”

If humans want to survive and flourish in the Anthropocene, we will need to overcome the habits of thought that have wrought destruction on our collective psyche and the natural world. One of our most misguided and longstanding myths is the notion that humanity’s mental faculties should be considered qualitatively different from those of nonhuman [...]

Quotes 5-6-2016

“Given the similarities in behavior and nervous systems between humans and other large-brained species, there is no reason to cling to the notion that only humans are conscious. As the document puts it, ‘The weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness.’ I can live with [...]

Quotes 4-27-2016

“During my student days, behaviorism still ruled supreme, at least in psychology. Luckily for me, the professor’s pipe-smoking associate, Paul Timmermans, regularly took me aside to induce some much-needed reflection on the indoctrination I was being subjected to. We worked with two young chimpanzees who offered me my first contact with primates apart from my [...]

Quotes 4-26-2016

“The field of evolutionary cognition requires us to consider every species in full. Whether we are studying hand anatomy, trunk multi-functionality, face perception, or greeting rituals, we need to familiarize ourselves with all facets of the animal and its natural history before trying to figure out its mental level. And instead of testing animals on [...]