Understanding Animals: Philosophy for Dog and Cat Lovers
How do animals perceive the world? What does it really feel like to be a cat or a dog? In Understanding Animals, Lars Svendsen investigates how humans can attempt to understand the lives of other animals. The book delves into animal communication, intelligence, self-awareness, loneliness, and grief, but most fundamentally how humans and animals can cohabit and build a form of friendship. Svendsen provides examples from many different animal species—from chimpanzees to octopus—but his main focus is on cats and dogs: the animals that many of us are closest to in our daily lives.
Drawing upon both philosophical analysis and the latest scientific discoveries, Svendsen argues that the knowledge we glean from our relationships with our pets is as valid and insightful as any scientific study of human-animal relations. With this entertaining and thought-provoking book, animal lovers and pet owners will gain a deeper understanding of what it is like to be an animal—and in turn, a human.
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