Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Aliens, Koko the Gorilla, and Interspecies Communication

Below is a powerpoint presentation with my blog post in mind :)


2 Responses to Aliens, Koko the Gorilla, and Interspecies Communication

  1. kelseyf says:

    I really enjoyed watching your presentation. I liked how you used many different examples (dolphins vs AI vs Gorillas) to try to determine what really defines a “person”. I also liked how you briefly touched on an ethics issue, being whether or not we should try to communicate with other species.

    Do you actually personally believe that other species such as dolphins or gorillas should be defined as people? You gave lots of relevant information, and I would be interested to know your own opinion on the topic.
    A really interesting topic to touch on, and I enjoyed the organized layout of your presentaton. Great job.

    • jeff says:

      Hey Kelsey,

      Thank you for the kind words!

      In response to your question, I don’t believe that the law should define animals such as whales gorillas as ‘persons.’ The fact of the matter is still that animals have a lesser cognitive ability than humans, so many of the laws that are imposed on us would not be applicable to animals. However, I realize that definitions are not purely based upon the law, and in definitions of ‘person’ that are less strict, such as the one that I posed in the beginning of my presentation as beings that have a sense of ‘self’, I would believe many animals have that trait and should be defined as peoples in those cases.


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