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 Post subject: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:23 pm 
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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/opinion/sunday/dogs-are-people-too

I hope to see this same research replicated with food animals & animals in captivity someday.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:14 pm 
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That link didn't work for me. Maybe this one will work better for other people.

Anyway, it doesn't really take an MRI to realize that dogs are people too (or at least, deserving of the same rights that personhood affords). I do think it's cool that they're trying to apply the same principles of neuroscience and psychology to animals as well as people.


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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:42 pm 
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eatsbabies wrote:
That link didn't work for me. Maybe this one will work better for other people.

Anyway, it doesn't really take an MRI to realize that dogs are people too (or at least, deserving of the same rights that personhood affords). I do think it's cool that they're trying to apply the same principles of neuroscience and psychology to animals as well as people.


I agree.

To the extent that MRIs (or whatever) can give us information and insight into dogs' interior lives, I say hurray. And I'm all for the scientific investigation of everything. But, I mean, of course dogs have emotions. It would be too weird if they didn't. And not just dogs, either.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:12 pm 
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Thanks for sharing that! It would be amazing if we could get animals partial personhood. I know that's a long ways off but I'd like to think it will happen some day.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:25 pm 
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I was really hoping for more. I seriously can't believe we need an MRI to tell people that dogs have emotions.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:41 pm 
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I mean, they're sentient beings who/that interact with other individuals. That doesn't mean they are capable of abstract, symbolic reasoning (although maybe they are), but would make emotion pretty necessary, I'd think. Emotions (in dogs, humans, and whatever) being, like, bundled physiological or perceptual or cognitive responses to stimuli.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:11 pm 
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Yeah, I also think there's more to being a person than emotion.

Oh, well. I guess everyone can keep eating their dogs.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Squeak wrote:
I was really hoping for more. I seriously can't believe we need an MRI to tell people that dogs have emotions.

I work with someone who has a phd in psychology who was convinced that dogs didn't have emotions, we got into a huge argument about it. He basically thinks everything they do is a stimulus/response scenario. I kind of want to send him this article but I kind of don't want to reopen that can of worms...

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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:02 pm 
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i've heard that argument, too--that everything non-human animals do is rooted in instinct, and therefore their behavior can't really be thought of as on par with human behavior. but i don't understand why human emotion wouldn't qualify as a stimulus-response scenario.

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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:46 pm 
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Plenty of behaviorists do think that about humans.

As Sidney Morgenbesser said to B. F. Skinner, "Let me see if I understand your thesis. You think we shouldn’t anthropomorphize people?"

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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:33 pm 
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i'm really glad this article was posted here. i was glad to see it in the NYT. i agree w/ everyone else that, "duh, if you've gotten to know any dog (and many other companion animals), of course you realize they have emotions." however-- and i'm not sure if this is off-topic or too meta for this thread-- don't you think it's incorrect and kinda a disservice to our companion animals to use the phrase, "dogs are people too"? i guess it makes me think of... let's say... people who misunderstand or have unfair expectations of their companion animals. they're still dogs (or fill in another species) and they should be addressed at their own dog level, not at a person level. that phrase just really grates me.


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 Post subject: Re: NYT: Dogs Are People, Too
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:21 am 
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chouettes crêpes wrote:
i'm really glad this article was posted here. i was glad to see it in the NYT. i agree w/ everyone else that, "duh, if you've gotten to know any dog (and many other companion animals), of course you realize they have emotions." however-- and i'm not sure if this is off-topic or too meta for this thread-- don't you think it's incorrect and kinda a disservice to our companion animals to use the phrase, "dogs are people too"? i guess it makes me think of... let's say... people who misunderstand or have unfair expectations of their companion animals. they're still dogs (or fill in another species) and they should be addressed at their own dog level, not at a person level. that phrase just really grates me.
Yes, I feel this way, too. My dog and my cats obviously have emotions, and to a certain degree we understand one another, but I’m not especially interested in how that makes them more or less "like" humans, nor do I consider that a reasonable or desirable criterion to judge them by. Lucy is a dog, Cooper and Gus are cats, and that's fine - I love, respect, and care for them because they are who they are, not according to the ways they are "like" me. (In fact, having two carnivorous pets - who have even killed the occasional mouse since moving into our drafty old house - has been the locus of a lot of complicated and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings about the way these animals are NOT like me. And yet I love them very much, and have decided these are relationships I want to have, even with those important – and, for me, wholly unrelatable - differences.)

The long-established, anthropocentric worldview that makes "human" the baseline for all subjectivity inevitably leads us to map our own values onto non-humans, and even when the motivation is ostensibly "positive" (such as conferring a higher degree of subjectivity on them), that's a deeply problematic practice. It's kind of analogous to the way imperialism viewed the "good" colonial subject: those who were most willingly/easily educated, assimilated, etc. were accorded a bit more - what? - dignity? respect? Oh, right: ”humanity”! - than those who were less cooperative or "trainable." So we let dogs live in our houses, buy them Christmas presents, and don't eat them because we consider them more "like" us than pigs or cows or giraffes or bears, but the extra "privileges" (even "rights") we grant them are entirely determined by what we think people "deserve." Humans need to understand that non-humans don't deserve compassion and respect based on to the ways they are "like us," but based on the fact that they are like themselves – that they have their own subjectivity - regardless of what we deign to grant them via anthropomorphization.

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