Kristin is Associate Professor of Philosophy at York University, where she also helps coordinate the Cognitive Science program and the Toronto Area Animal Cognition Discussion Group. Kristin is on the Board of Directors of the Boreno Oranguan Society Cananda, and is author of two books on the philosophy of animal minds.  Her research focuses on the nature of social cognition, and examines human social relations and the relationships among, and between, animals of different speices. She has published on chimpanzee mindreading, animal belief, normativity in nonhuman animals, the methodolgy of animal cognition research, and on the ethical implications of the cognitive, cultural, social, and emotional lives of other animals.

Human apes are thought to be extraordinary mindreaders, knowing just what others think and desire. But perhaps instead, they, like their nonhuman cousins, are skilled at reading others not by knowing the contents of their minds, but by understanding others as people located in a rich social and cultural history. Scrub jays experienced in theft hide food from potential theives, but naive jays don't. Dogs can learn the names of hundereds of objects. Dolphins modify their signature whistles depending on whom they are currenly aligned with. Trout would rather be shocked than to be alone. The natural capacities of nonhuman animals can help us to better understand the nature of thought, reason, emotion, and the scope of social and cultural relations.


New Books in Philosophy 2013

Philosophy TV 2013

"Orangutans use mime to make themselves understood"

The Guardian 2010

Borneo Oranguan Society Canada

"Orangutans use charade-like communication"

Discovery News 2013


Toronto Area Animal Cognition Discussion Group

"Orangutan psychologist: Watching the ape pantomime"

New Scientist 2010

Society for the Philosophy of Animal Minds


Select Articles

“Anthropomorphism, Anthropectomy, and the Null Hypothesis”

Co-authored with Brian Huss. Biology and Philosophy: Volume 29, Issue 5 (2014), Page 711-729.

“Ready to Teach or Ready to Learn: A Critique of the Natural Pedagogy Theory”

Co-authored with Hisashi Nakao, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, forthcoming 2014.

“Empathy in other apes”

Co-authored with Lori Gruen.  In Heidi Maibom, ed. Empathy in Morality, Oxford University Press, 2014.

“Ape Autonomy? Social Norms in Other Species”

In Philosophical Perspectives on Animals: Mind, Ethics, Morals. Klaus Petrus and Markus Wild, eds. Transcript, 2013, 173-196.

“Orangutan Pantomime: Elaborating the Message”

Co-authored with Anne Russon. Biology Letters, published on-line before print August 11, 2010.


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