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Are You Smarter Than a Weimeraner?

  • Flitch 641 Tillery Street Austin, TX, 78702 United States (map)

Announcing the first Critical Theory Reading Group meeting of the fall! We will be meeting on Wednesday, September 21st, at 10am at Flitch Coffee to discuss animal intelligence and to welcome our new Director of Education, Haylie Swenson (animal studies are her specialty). Well-behaved, leashed dogs are especially welcome to this meeting. See the class description below, and watch for further announcements on the readings, which will be posted soon. We’ll see you on the 21st!

Suggested Readings:
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? Frans de Waal
When Species Meet, Donna Haraway
Their Masters' Voices: Dogs Understand Tone and Meaning of Words, NPR
Franzine, Eva Claycomb

Are You Smarter Than a Weimeraner?

The operating question of Frans de Waal’s recent book is right there in the title: Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? In it, he describes “a revolution in the study of animal cognition,” one that considers intelligence across species not as “a ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top,” but as something “more like a bush, with cognition taking different forms that are often incomparable to ours.” We will discuss a section from Waal’s book, as well as animal theory from Donna Haraway, a zine by Eva Claycomb, and an NPR article about dogs and language. Some questions we might ask: what is intelligence, anyway? What are the uses, and limits, of anthropomorphic thinking when it comes to our pets? Am I smart enough to know how smart animals are?

Later Event: September 28
Trigger Warnings