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In: Commentary on the Jumal on Logic by Khūnajī
In: Commentary on the Jumal on Logic by Khūnajī
Author: Mark Kaplan

Abstract

Austin wrote as if what we say as epistemologists needs to accord faithfully with what we say, and are committed to saying, in ordinary life. The consensus has long been that Austin wrote this way because he simply didn’t understand the nature of the epistemologist’s project. Austin’s Way with Skepticism explains why the consensus is mistaken. The book shows that, far from reflecting a failure on Austin’s part to understand the epistemologist’s project, Austin’s fidelity requirement was born of a powerful critique of how that project has been conceived. The book also provides evidence of just how fruitful an epistemology is to be had, once we take that critique to heart and do epistemology as Austin thought it should be done.

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism

Abstract

The paper presents the first cultural anthropological study of the Finnish canine police force. The study is based on interviews with eleven police dog handlers. The interviews focused on the cultural model of the profession, with emphasis on the interaction between dogs and their handlers. The relationship is surprisingly reciprocal. It can be understood as operating on the principles of an interspecies social contract, where the categorical division between the species is, paradoxically, vigorously maintained and habitually broken. The police dog requires constant negotiation to perform tasks that humans themselves cannot do. Rather than being forced, the dogs are guided through play and positive reinforcement into performing tasks. Relationships of canine police teams are deeply personal and in navigating the complexities of a human-driven society, the canine assumes many different roles. Conceptualizing police dogs as mediators for their natural talents, instead of mere tools, could formalize their place in society.

In: Society & Animals

Abstract

In all traditional Polynesian societies, people developed a deep knowledge of all feathered creatures, and devised a great many stories about them. This paper offers a summary and a comparative study of seventeen traditional narratives from throughout Polynesia that feature birds as the companions of the human, divine, or semidivine protagonists of the stories. These oral traditions, which were put in writing in the 19th and 20th centuries by Westerners, show that, in traditional Polynesian societies, people perceived birds as much more than a food source: They were deeply attached to the feathered creatures that they kept as companion animals.

In: Society & Animals

Abstract

What kind of positions have reindeer been given in Finnish forestry science by research institution, Metsäntutkimuslaitos (Metla)? Because of overlapping zones of utilization, reindeer for the most part appeared as a threat to national wealth and a problem to harvesting, as well as spoiling ecosystem productivity. They were perceived as a harmful species that destroyed and “killed” saplings and decreased the forest areal. Closer to the present day, the positions of reindeer have become more versatile, and reindeer receive more positive characterizations, even that of stakeholders, or the ones enjoying the outcomes of better-managed pastures. However, the breakthrough in environmental discourse from the 1980s onwards has led to the marginalization and demonization of the reindeer. The position of reindeer in their ecosystem has become unstable and is defined anew as a risk.

In: Society & Animals

Abstract

The overarching purpose of this pilot study was to compare the likelihood of conviction and the imposition of penalties in nonhuman-animal hoarding cases among those affiliated with established animal rescues and those not affiliated. A secondary purpose was to examine what additional characteristics of hoarders and hoarding cases are associated with conviction and penalties. Manifest content coding was conducted on the media reports and court dockets of a convenience sample of 84 animal hoarding cases. The affiliated did not significantly differ from the nonaffiliated with regard to the likelihood of conviction or the imposition of legal penalties upon conviction. A prior history of hoarding and the number of animals involved in a case influenced case outcomes in limited and inconsistent respects; however, a preponderance of nonsignificant findings suggests that much judicial discretion operates in the prosecution of animal hoarding cases.

In: Society & Animals

Abstract

The investigation of human dreaming offers significant insights to scholars of human-nonhuman animal studies. This article proposes that the ways in which companion species appear in humans’ dreams reveal the implicit ontological assumptions that undergird waking-life interspecies relationships. Focusing on dreams about dogs among middle-class U.S. college students, the analysis develops an updated model of dreaming that is synthesized from recent neuroscientific and anthropological theory-building. Themes of warm companionship, anxiety about dogs’ welfare, and preoccupations about their mortality suggest that dreams about dogs simulate and rehearse interspecies sociality in a cultural frame. They demonstrate both interspecies intersubjectivity and the significant place of canine persons in U.S. middle-class dreamers’ conceptualizations of their social networks. Such dreams challenge the public ideology of human exceptionalism, and suggest that human-canine sociality – in both waking and oneiric modes – may emerge as much from “egomorphic” as from anthropomorphic dispositions.

In: Society & Animals

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the current state of perceptions towards select breeds of dogs with a focus on perceived aggressiveness. While some studies investigating breed perceptions of aggressiveness have presented dogs in various poses, possibly adding to unintentional perception bias towards aggressiveness, this study showed standardized representations of 27 dog breeds. A hierarchical cluster analysis of data collected from a large sample suggests two distinct categories of dogs that were perceived as either higher or lower in aggressiveness. Additionally, this study asked participants about their intended behavior toward those breeds, thus providing data on people’s functional attitudes towards breeds perceived as more or less aggressive. The data show that people are less willing to interact with those breeds of dogs that are perceived to be higher in aggressiveness and intend to engage in more favorable interactions towards those breeds perceived as less aggressive.

In: Society & Animals