Be sure to join host Maureen Armstrong for the inaugural episode of The Animal Guide for Curious Humans.
The Animal Guide for Curious Humans brings animal lovers, wildlife experts and decision makers together to discuss the habits and behaviours of animals—including us—and ways we can live together harmoniously in light of ever-increasing population, resource and climate pressures.
In this episode, Maureen talks with Professor Kristin Andrews, a Toronto-based animal researcher and author, who teaches philosophy at York University and is a College member of the Royal Society of Canada. Kristin’s book The Animal Mind is a fascinating journey into animal cognition as revealed by researchers studying a wide range of species around the globe.
Like most animal lovers, Kristin’s interest in animals began with house pets and watching programs like “Flipper" on TV, but it wasn’t long before she was in Hawaii studying real dolphins, and from there she has travelled all over the world getting to know a variety of species, writing about her findings, and working with colleagues from different disciplines. She is a preeminent scholar in the field of animal cognition and has written extensively on the subject.
You may be familiar with studies on animal communication and tool use, but how about culture and social norms, morality and ethics, personality and emotions? Viewing animals through a philosophical lens reveals some of the shortcomings of animal studies to date, and the many opportunities that exist for us to better understand animals, improve our relationships with them and co-exist more harmoniously.
It’s a discussion that will have you questioning your own assumptions about animals, and thinking in new ways about who they are and what they’re trying to tell us.
Kristin is author of the books How To Study Animal Minds and The Animal Mind.