what dogs think

The spate of dog mind-focused books raises the question: After at least 14,000 years of living with dogs, why are we only now getting around to considering what goes on inside their heads? There are many possible explanations, but one is that in the last two decades science has discovered more about dog cognition than in the previous two centuries combined.”

Vanessa Woods and Brian Hare. Hey folks, ever heard of a guy named Jack London? And of course, London didn’t invent the idea of a story told from a dog’s point of view. Heck, there’s a moment told from a dog’s point of view in the Odyssey.

This is what happens when you are formed, as these scholars apparently were formed, in a radically presentist soocial order: you make the most ridiculous assumptions about everyone born more than a few decades ago. The idea that people could have lived with dogs for “at least 14,000 years” without ever growing curious about what dogs think doesn’t bear a moment’s scrutiny. But then, Woods and Hare don’t give the idea a moment’s scrutiny. They unreflectively assume that all generations preceding Us were just plain stoopid.