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How Animals Think, Feel, and Communicate Without Language

'How the Animals Around You Think' challenges current scientific, linguistic, and theological positions and offers ample evidence that despite not possessing language as we know it, the animals around us are conscious.

MARC BEKOFF: Dr. C. P. (Chuck) Rosenthal, is a professor of Narrative Writing and Theory at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angele and author of the book “How the Animals Around You Think: The Semiotics of Animal Cognition”, has been observing domestic animal behavior for over 40 years…

Part of the book’s description reads: “Using a wholly unique combination of philosophical discourse and examples of observable, everyday animal behavior, Rosenthal offers a powerful argument and a theory for animal cognition. This is a book that challenges current scientific, linguistic, and theological positions and offers ample evidence that despite not possessing language as we know it, the animals around us are conscious”…

How the Animals Around You Think is a book of animal philosophy. I do some very close analysis of behavior that every one of us sees around us every day. I also dispel a number of arguments used by linguistics and behavioral science to deny animal cognition. Instead of pointing at a given behavior and saying, “That sure looks like Spot is thinking!” I explain what the animal must be thinking to perform a given behavior.

On a hot, fly-ridden day in the pasture, a horse bothered by flies on her face and around her eyes is physically uncomfortable and in an unsatisfactory cognitive-emotional state. She moves to another horse in anticipation of the solution. Standing head to tail the two of them brush flies from each other’s faces by swishing their tails. An acceptable cognitive-emotional state has replaced an unacceptable one…

According to Dr. Rosenthal, animal communication is all around us. Whether we wish to argue that they have languages of their own depends on what we mean by language and I’m very interested in Eva Meijer’s book on that topic. But I’m committed to the argument that feeling, thinking, and meaning do not occur solely in language. My book is the culmination of 40 years of thought and observation about that. SOURCE…

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