Colombo, Michael and Johnston, Melissa (2016) Introspection and anecdotes won’t prove what animals are thinking and feeling. Animal Sentience 2(3)
We review Part Three, “Whines and Pet Peeves,” of Safina’s book Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel. Part Three is concerned mainly with the evidence for Theory of Mind in nonhuman animals. Like Safina, we believe that animals have a Theory of Mind, and like Safina, we question the utility of such concepts. There are many studies that Safina could have used to support his argument, and although some are mentioned, he prefers to make his point mainly by relying on anecdotes and introspection. The end result, we believe, is to devalue the scientific process.