The traditional view of intelligence ranging from low to high, with humans at the top, has been challenged by research on diverse aspects of animal cognition. Recent studies suggest that cognition takes many different forms in animals and can be very difficult to compare to humans. We will talk about a wide range of animals, including octopuses, crows, dogs, monkeys, apes, dolphins, and whales. We will focus on some of the capacities that have been considered hallmarks of intelligence, such as tool use, mirror self recognition, innovation, culture, and of course, language. Rather than assessing how human-like these abilities are, we will view these studies with an eye to how each species’ intelligence is adapted to its own unique needs.
- Teacher: Laela Sayigh