Have you ever watched a dog sleep? At times it doesn’t look like sleep at all with their tails thumping, paws padding at an invisible ground, and squeaks, grunts, and growls disrupting an otherwise quiet slumber. We might assume that they’re dreaming about squirrels, or a really good bone. But are they?
What really goes on in the minds of animals when they sleep? Author David Peña-Guzmán brings together behavioral and neuroscientific research on animal sleep with philosophical theories of dreaming in his new book, When Animals Dream. Through his research, Peña-Guzmán builds a convincing case for animals as conscious beings and examines the thorny scientific, philosophical, and ethical questions it raises.
In the 135th episode of Town Hall’s In the Moment podcast, senior correspondent Steve Scher and David Peña-Guzmán discuss the cognitive and emotional lives of nonhuman animals, challenging us to regard animals as beings who matter, and for whom things matter.
David M. Peña-Guzmán is associate professor of humanities and liberal studies at San Francisco State University. He specializes in critical animal studies, the history and philosophy of science, and contemporary European philosophy. He is a coauthor of Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ Brief and cohost of the popular Overthink podcast.
Steve Scher is a podcaster and interviewer and has been a teacher at the University of Washington since 2009. He worked in Seattle public radio for almost 30 years and is Senior Correspondent for Town Hall Seattle’s In The Moment podcast.