Thursday, August 18, 2011

Peter Singer on animal language

Peter Singer has a fascinating and emotionally moving blog post at the NY Review of Books about the new documentary regarding an experiment in teaching language to an chimp. I am not certain if Chomsky is as doctrinaire on the subject of whether animals can learn a language as Singer states or implies, but the post is nonetheless brilliantly argued.

I happen to believe that apes and perhaps even dogs can learn to understand words and perhaps even complex tasks formed with words. I also believe animals in general have far more complex feelings than we humans give them credit for--and perhaps I am influenced by one of the great novels of the past several decades, "Dr. Rat."

I am most proud of my son for maintaining his vegetarian stance since age 4 (he's now approaching 18), while I, being a lazy sap, continue to be a carnivore who lives off fast food and such. Yet, like liberals of yore, I do feeling guilty about it...:-)

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