Re: Animals, language and morality

Paul Arveson (
Wed, 8 May 96 17:12:07 EDT

In message <v0213050eadb4253ff5bc@[]> Alice Fulton writes:

> There is a *wonderful* book on this question (of whether animals can talk
> and how talking reflects moral relations) called "Adam's Task" by Vickie
> Hearne. She is an animal trainer, poet and philosopher; her comments are
> insightful and thought-provoking. I can't begin to do her justice by
> summarizing this book; take a peek at it in the library or a bookstore, and
> you'll see what I mean. I've read it four or five times, and keep finding
> something new.

Thanks, Alice.

After watching the careful, deliberate toolmaking of the gorillas recently at
the Wild Animal Park in San Diego, I bought a copy of an introductory book on
the primates by Goodall, Galdikas and Fossey, "Walking with the Great Apes." It
is evidently an excellent introduction to the field. It also rather candidly
describes the politics among the researchers as well as their science.

These women approached their subjects with a lot of sensitivity, willing to
"stare nature in the face" as few are willing or able to do. As people who
believe that "all truth is God's truth" we should applaud them, or at least read
their books.

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-1914 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)
Code 724, NSWC, Bethesda, MD 20084
"Practice thoughtful kindness, and helpful acts of beauty."