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Embodied Cognition and Representation in Domesticated Dogs

By Kate Oslo

Category Theses
Abstract

Embodied cognition is a relatively recent approach in the philosophy of mind. Similarly, the volume of research into dog cognition has increased in the last decade and is set to keep on growing as we learn more about the animals with which we have associated for so long. This thesis argues that the principles of embodied cognition can be productively applied to the study of dogs. Adoption of these principles can improve experimental design and inform the conclusions that we draw from empirical data regarding dogs’ cognitive capacities and behaviour. This dissertation advocates for ethologically appropriate studies, designed for dogs rather than humans, a greater emphasis on the dynamic interplay between the dog, environment and humans, and fresh interpretations of the behaviour and cognitive skills that dogs demonstrate. Moreover, the models of embodied representation expounded in this thesis aid our understanding of dog behaviour and cognition and can enhance our approach to dog training. The thesis closes with a case for embodied representations as facilitators of rational actions in the domesticated dog.

Submitter

Spencer CW Au

Date 2015
Publisher University of Waikato
Location of Publication Hamilton, New Zealand
Degree Doctor of Philosophy
Language English
University University of Waikato
Tags
  1. Animal consciousness
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Dogs
  5. Embodied Cognition
  6. Mammals
  7. Pet ownership
  8. Pets and companion animals