What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions — they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force.
There is an universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object, those qualities, with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious. We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, ascribe malice or good-will to every thing, that hurts or pleases us.
Talk of belief in these animals is not some kind of anthropomorphism. We simply cannot explain the kinds of problem solving and behavioral sophistication some species exhibit without supposing that they have genuine beliefs. But once these ethologists finish making the case for animal belief, they quickly move to talk of animal knowledge as well. What I argue is that this is not a mere façon de parler.
We know from the truths of evolution and ecology that we are all related and interdependent. Anthropomorphism (crediting animals with human emotions and traits) is, however, outdated. Rather we know that we are like animals.