ADAM'S TASK: CALLING ANIMALS BY NAME. by Vicki Hearne. New York: Vintage Books, 1987. ISBN: 0-394-75530-8
In Austria both children and dogs are "trained" to respond to language which displays itself noticeably in social situations such that the children or dogs are not particularly disruptive. They simply fit in comfortably manners, as would a adult, just arriving.
Here in the U.S., especially in the age of permissive parents, and, as always, virtually untrained dogs as the common pet, both the dogs and the children are often, in not usually, disruptive of the normal adult society.
To the extent that this observation is true, it would make Hearne's thesis much easier for one to understand who has had the Vienna experience, or something like it, and make it easier to understand the dog's exceptional ability to "fit in" in Vienna, to be evidence of linguistic training reflecting an intelligent and even MORAL fittingness.
(I can hardly believe I've even written that!)
Actaully I don't really mean moral fittingness. I don't believe children should be seen and not heard, or if heard, heard as participants in the adult world. I raised seven children and didn't raise them in that fashion. On the other had, I also don't really like the fully pemissive child-centered world of U.S. culture either. I'd much prefer some difficult to describe middle ground, and strove for it as a parent.
However, the moral point is very minor to my notes. I was mainly trying to clarify the training issue, and not to morally evaluate it.
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