Four-Fold Visions of

the American West

Reason Versus Transcendence

from Alaska to New Mexico

July 28, 2017

Can animals think? Do they experience emotions? Until the mid-twentieth century, the generally accepted answer to both questions was no. Following in the footsteps of the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, psychologist John Watson, and behaviorist B.F. Skinner, scientists and properly educated people ordained that all animal behavior could be explained through the simple agency of cause-and-effect. A dog wagging her tail and barking when you arrived home wasn’t “happy”; she was exhibiting a reflex behavior triggered by the stimulus of your arrival, behavior that throug...

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