Thinking With Animals

Octopus
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Original Air Date: 
April 07, 2018

Can we ever get inside the mind of an animal? Can we really know how an octopus or a parrot thinks and experiences the world? We'll talk with some naturalists and philosophers who're trying, including Helen Macdonald and Peter Godfrey-Smith. And the fascinating story of Charles Foster's attempt to act like a badger, when he lived in a hole in the ground and ate worms.

Badger
Audio

What's it like to be a badger? British naturalist Charles Foster wanted to know, so he dug a burrow and lived in the darkness, eating worms. Yup, it was kind of disgusting, but he says the experience brought him closer to the wildness within himself.

Length: 
10:14
Birdle
Audio

Helen Macdonald's book "H is for Hawk" turned her goshawk Mabel into one of the most memorable literary characters of recent years. Mabel is no longer with her, but Helen now has a new avian companion — an ornery and very smart parrot.

Length: 
9:20
Octopus
Articles

Philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith says the octopus is "probably the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien.” It has no bones and most of its neurons are in its arms — not its brain. Can we ever fathom octopus consciousness?

Length: 
10:35
Starling
Articles

Elena Passarello’s latest book, “Animals Strike Curious Poses,” is a journey through stories of the wild ones: the mammoths, spiders, birds and primates that have left their marks on our society. To the Best of Our Knowledge host Anne Strainchamps talked with Passarello about the “animal gaze” and the legacy of Mozart’s starling, among other animal tales.

Length: 
16:18
Gorilla
Articles

Elena Passarello created “Koko” from the one-thousand word vocabulary of a gorilla who uses sign language. Her book is "Animals Strike Curious Poses."

Show Details 📻
Airdates
April 07, 2018
Guests: 
Helen MacDonald

Helen MacDonald

Author and Naturalist
Charles Foster

Charles Foster

Author

Peter Godfrey-Smith

Professor
Elena Passarello

Elena Passarello

Author
Categories: 
Last modified: 
April 07, 2018