Anthropomorphism, Anecdotes, and Animals 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 aid those mental interpretations. this is often the 1st ebook to guage the importance and usability of the practices of anthropomorphism and anecdotalism for figuring out animals. diversified views are awarded in considerate, severe essays by way 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 clinical attitudes are appraised. Authors offer interesting in-depth descriptions and analyses of various species of animals, together with octopi, nice apes, monkeys, canine, sea lions, and, in fact, humans. issues approximately, and recommendations for, reviews of various mental features of animals are mentioned, together with psychological nation attribution, intentionality, cognition, recognition, self-consciousness, and language.

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For example, in Ortony's (1975) metaphor, "the thought slipped my mind," we have no way of characterizing what is a thought, nor how it may move, nor what is mind, yet it describes an experience. ) to describe animal behavior are being used metaphorically and not literally? First, it is generally agreed that a metaphor or a word used metaphorically has a certain semantic relation to the literal meaning of that word and to the other literal words in a sentence. In this instance, the literal meaning of the term is presumably the way we would use it of human behavior, implying a conscious agent (though a person may not "consciously" threaten someone, the complexities of the human case are beyond the scope of the present argument).

If Darwin's (1859/1968) argument for evolution by natural selection was to be successful as an encompassing explanatory theory of the development and organization of the varieties of life, it had to cover the most difficult case of allthe human spedes, and the human species at its best. Darwin and his colleagues had to make a convincing argument that every human moral virtue, religious insight, and intellectual capacity arose from characteristics recognizable in animals, and that those human qualities had developed to their present ascendancy by natural processes alone, without any little boosts from a higher power.

Darwin, 1871/1981, p. 76). "What a strong feeling of inward satisfaction must impel a bird, so full of activity, to brood day after day over her eggs" (p. 79). Again, however, dogs seem to be especially singled out for something a shade superior: Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities which in us would be called moral; and I agree with Agassiz that dogs possess something very like a conscience. They certainly possess some power of self-command . . Dogs have long been accepted as the very type of fidelity and obedience.

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