Screen shot 2015-08-26 at 10.28.00 AMInstructor: Sara Waller

Dates: Wednesdays; Sept. 16 to Oct. 21

Time: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Location: 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Course Info: This course will explore the philosophy and science of the ways that different animals understand the world. We know that dogs and dolphins follow commands, parrots speak, and creatures from monkeys to elephants use tools and recognize themselves in mirrors. What does this mean about their intelligence, their concept of the world, and our relationship to them? This course explores animal thoughts and communication and asks questions about human and non-human minds.

Readings: None required; readings will be distributed in class.

Instructor Bio:

Sara WallerSara Waller is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Montana State University. She received her PhD in 1999 from Loyola University Chicago in Philosophy of Language, and completed a Visiting Scholarship at the Chatterjee Neurology Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania Hospitals in 2003. Professor Waller studies the possibility of animal language, and has received funding from the NEH, NSF, and EPA to further her research on the meanings of vocalizations of cooperative predators, with studied species ranging from dolphins to wolves to cats. She is published in journals such as Synthese and the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. Her current research focuses on wolf vocalizations during denning season in Yellowstone National Park (wolf puppies!).

Class Format: Lecture and discussion Readings.

Cost: $75 - members; $110 - nonmembers



MSU Wonderlust is a high-quality community resource for lifelong learning for the Bozeman area.  Here is university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects, some multi-week courses, some one-off events.  These offerings come free of homework, exams, or papers: The MSU Wonderlust experience is just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It's also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.

The Winter/Spring offerings begin with a reception at the Pilgrim Congregational Church from 4 to 6pm.  It's a chance to meet with the course instructors and side-trip presenters; find out more about their plans.  

Gerry Wheeler, President of Friends of Wonderlust