Select TWO questions, and answer EACH OF THEM in at least 3 full pages, but no more than 5 full pages EACH. Remember to use your own words, and not to quote or to plagiarize other people’s words. However, be sure to bring up points raised by authors we have read in answer to each problem. The answers should not just be your opinion (which I expect to be a thoughtful synthesis of ideas), but should show that you read, understood, reflected on, and can apply the readings.
Note: You can choose to do either #1 or #2, but not both; you can choose to do #3 or #4, but not both; and you can choose to do one of the questions marked #5, #6 or #7, but not two of these.
Use standard formatting (Times font 12, 1” borders), and double space without adding extra spaces between paragraphs.
1. Present and discuss three different ways that our ideas about animals (or three ideas about animals that) seem paradoxical or contradictory. Pick at least one from Fudge, and at least one from Herzog. Be sure that it is clear how each of the three ways is paradoxical or contradictory. Pick one of the three ideas: How might someone argue that this idea is not contradictory? Do you agree or disagree with this argument? Explain your answer.
2. Both Fudge and Herzog discuss animal experimentation, and both point out the contradictions in our ideas about doing experiments on animals. Discuss the concerns of Fudge and Herzog in excruciating detail. Does either author resolve the contradictions? If so, how? If not, why not? Do you find either author’s resolution (or lack thereof) satisfying? Why or why not? Explain clearly and adequately.
3. Discuss a psychological or anthropological term discussed in the readings, like grief, culture, fairness, or having a concept of death, in relation to what is required to attribute this term to a human. Be sure to think this through—present what it is that a person has to have in order (for example) to be experiencing or to have a concept of death. Then discuss how we know that people have these qualities or whatever. Then discuss why you think a chimpanzee or dog (or other “higher” animal) has or does not have this concept. (Be sure to pick an animal for which you have information!) What aspects of the term does the animal satisfy, and what is it lacking that does not allow the animal to fully satisfy the meaning of the term. Be specific and articulate, and be sure to say how we know people fully satisfy the term, and how we know that the animal does not.
4. In Julie Smith’s article on rabbit death, she provides three perspectives or ways of approaching an understanding of how rabbits understand death, delineated in the last sentence of her abstract. Present the three perspectives in some detail, and describe the pros and cons for human understanding that they provide. Which approach or approaches do Masson & McCarthy employ in their chapter (12) in Kalof & Fitzgerald? Support your answer with information from the chapter. Which approach or approaches do you think is the best for understanding animals’ perspectives on death (or other things)? Why?
5. What is anthropomorphism? (Give an excellent definition; Herzog’s book and Fudge’s book all discuss anthropomorphism, and we have discussed it in class. Give your own definition.) Is anthropomorphism inherently inaccurate when applied to animals? Discuss 2 very different reasons why anthropomorphism can be inaccurate, and 2 very different reasons why it can be accurate. Give examples in each case. Are you anthropomorphic in your interactions with animals like pets? Elaborate, describing how. Do you think your anthropomorphism is accurate or inaccurate? Why or why not? Would it matter to you if you were being anthropomorphic? Why or why not?
6. Animals appear a lot in children’s books and movies, as discussed in Fudge in ANIMAL. Discuss in detail the issue of anthropomorphism in relation to how animals are depicted in The Wind in the Willows and Charlotte’s Web, on the one hand, and the way Lassie is depicted in Lassie Come-Home. (Do NOT use Fudge’s own words, but instead use your own.) Then discuss the very different, anti-anthropomorphic approach used in the movie Old Yeller. How is anthropomorphism used in the books, and why is it used? How is the anti-anthropomorphism used in Old Yeller, and why is it used? Be specific, and discuss your answers in detail.
7. Compare Red Peter’s account of himself in Kafka’s “A Report to An Academy” to the ape Konrad in Boyle’s “Descent of Man.” Discuss how Red Peter developed as a human, and how Konrad developed as a human. What were the positives and negatives for each ape? Discuss the final consequences of humanization for Kafka’s ape, and then discuss the final consequences of humanization for Boyle’s ape. Is either ape fully human (if we ignore their biological form)? Why or why not? Elaborate.
8. Present Descartes’ ideas (K&F, ch. 9) on animal mind, and then present the ideas of Sanders & Arluke (K&F, ch. 10) on animal mind. Next, compare the two ideas, talking about similarities and differences in their approaches. Imagine Descartes reading the Sanders & Arluke paper. Do you think he would agree with any of their ideas? If so, what ideas, and how would he agree? If not, why not? Explain in detail, bringing up material and ideas from the readings so far in class.
The books are
Boyle “Descent of Man” pages 1-16 “Heart of the Champion” pages 37-46
Herzog “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat” Pages 1-95, 97-203, 205-279
Erica Fudge “Animal” Pages 7-65, 67-111, 112-166
Flynn “Social Creatures” Part one (Chapters 1-3), Part 2 (Chapters 4-6), Part 8 (Chapters 26-27), Part 9(Chapters 28-29)
Kalof and Fitzgerald “The Animal Reader” pages 1-13, 30-36,53-90, 91-110