A Difference of Degree and Not Kind

I will be forever indebted to Charles Darwin. Familiarity with his work has provided me with a deeper understanding of other animals and humans, this is a priceless addition to my life!

The importance of Darwin’s contribution to biology and the study of animal behavior and eventually to the way he have come to see animals cannot be overstated. More than anyone, it was Darwin that established the direction of comparative psychology. An approach that does not ignore the biological – and therefor mentalistic – continuity between human and non-human animals, a view shared by Marc BekoffJaak Panksepp, Michael Tomasello, and Temple Grandin, Karen Pryor, Ian Dunbar, David Hume,  Jane Goodall and more.

Over the last few decades we’ve come to realize that many “human” traits – tool use, culture, language, empathy, numeracy, syntax – are not uniquely human.  Not to say that humans are not unique. Or that dogs are not unique. Both are unique but still share a common emotional framework.  That animals have emotions is no longer a controversial statement. That we share many mentalistic processes has become self evident.

Being aware of the emotional live of animals, specially our companion animals, can influence the way we deal with them.

Read more via A Difference of Degree and Not Kind.

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