[lit-ideas] Every dogma has its day

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 23:43:41 +0100 (BST)

And the day of the dogma that dogs seek alpha or dominant status, or the dogma 
that they have complex emotions like guilt, may be slowly passing:-


A Guardian review there begins:-
"If you were a dog just over 100 years ago, life would have been simple. You 
would likely have been gainfully employed perhaps hunting, herding or guarding 
and provided you did your job, your owners would have accepted that you were 
sometimes messy, loud or unpredictable. Most dogs today are never expected to 
work, even though they are often still tuned into functions their breed has 
fulfilled for thousands of years. Instead, they are expected to behave like 
small children, yet be as independent as adults. To make things worse, our 
culture is awash with myths that prevent dogs being properly understood, in 
particular, the enduring idea that they harbour a powerful desire to dominate 
their family pack. Put simply: dogs are on the brink of a crisis. And as we 
have put them there, it is our responsibility to help them."

What the various research means for a 'doggie World 3', or even canine grasp of 
human World 3 products [like human language], is arguably that there is no 
canine equivalent of World 3 and they do not grasp the abstract content of 
human language higher than its expressive and signalling functions [of which 
they have a sometimes acute if partial grasp]: dogs do not grasp the power of 
human language to describe or to argue, and their own 'language' lacks these 
functions. And if they do, they should describe what they were feeling when 
they made mess and argue the case for it, and not just skulk crypto-guilty.


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