This January I changed the name of my company to the Institute for Animals in Philosophy and Science – IAPS. In Dutch translated as Instituut voor Dieren in Filosofie en Wetenschap – IDFW. This new name covers the activities that I organize in a much better way. I had also been looking for a good name for his company in order to work together with other institutes, organizations and individuals. Besides the lectures and courses that will be given by myself, the institute will also organize lectures and other events at which other scientists and philosophers will speak. I have set up a website for the Institute for Animals in Philosophy and Science. There is also a Facebook page of the IAPS that you can like in order to get updates about events that the institute organizes. Below you will find some further information about my new company.
The Institute for Animals in Philosophy and Science – IAPS organizes lectures, seminars and courses about animals in philosophy and science, in its broadest sense.
Within science the institute focuses on the following subjects:
- the intelligence or cognition of animals.
- the emotions or emotional life of animals.
- the consciousness or subjective experience of animals.
Within philosophy the institute focuses on the following subjects:
- animal ethics: how should humans relate to other animals?
- philosophical anthropology: what does our current and developing knowledge about humans and other animals imply for our ideas about what it is to be human?
Which animals? All of them!
The IAPS will offer lectures, seminars and courses about all possible animal species.
Examples of subjects are:
- Language research with great apes, dolphins, sealions, parrots and dogs.
- The intelligence of corvids and other birds.
- The intelligence of great apes.
- The intelligence of dolphins and other marine mammals.
- The intelligence of dogs and cts.
- The question of animal consciousness.
- The emotional lives of animals.
- Pain and emotions in invertebrate animals?
Animals in Philosophy and Science
The name of the institute has not been chosen accidentally. It specifies that the institute is focused on the way in which people in philosophy and science think about animals. In doing so, it wants to spread the scientific knowledge about animals that is gained from empirical research and to present the various philosophical opinions and arguments regarding animals that emanate from the various subdisciplines of philosophy (ethics, philosophical anthropology).
The name also shows that philosophers and scientists themselves are animals too. In this sense it is also an institute for people who occupy themselves with animals in philosophy and science. Humans are animals too. The institute considers the traditional dichotomy between humans on the one hand, and animals on the other hand, as a position outdated long ago. It is better therefore, instead of “humans and animals” to talk about “humans and óther animals.” Or about human and nonhuman animals. The name of the institute thus indicates that the scientists and philosophers that lecture at the institute’s events consider themselves as animals and don’t feel uncomfortable by their animal nature.
Change of mentality
The IAPS wants to contribute with its lectures and courses to a change in mentality with regard to animals. By transmission of knowledge and education the institute wants to demonstrate that all animals are individuals with feelings and thoughts. And that therefore all animals should be included in our human ethics. The position of dr. Rivas is abolitionist: ending all forms of human use of other animals. However, the institute itself takes no particular stance and wants to help people think for themselves about how they should relate to animals and to make it possible for them to adopt a position independently. The institute wants to give them knowledge and argumentation by which people can decide their own particular position.