Animal Communication?

Rosemary Rodd

in Biology, Ethics, and Animals

Published in print October 1992 | ISBN: 9780198240525
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680199 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Animal Communication?

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This chapter argues that animal communication studies are relevant to the consideration of their moral status. Some animal rights critics have based their claims upon the proposal that human consciousness stems from our linguistic ability. Frey does not deny the possibility of animal consciousness but claims that language is essential for the possession of interests, without which rights cannot be possible. The idea of animal communication adds some weight to the belief that they can have rights and it may be of help in discovering what their interests are. This chapter lists four systems of communication which can be used by any organism — humans or animals. It also lists four basic approaches to teaching chimpanzees, orang-utans, and gorillas to use modified form of human language. The evidence that apes do possess a level of intelligence necessary for language is also discussed in this chapter.

Keywords: animal communication; consciousness; linguistic ability; Frey; rights; intelligence

Chapter.  12033 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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