the philosopher dog
… our sense of smell is inferior to the dog’s. And so you can imagine that when a dog runs over the fields, he finds everything terribly interesting; so many smells come to him that if he were able to describe it, he would say the world is all smell. If among dogs there were a thinker like Schopenhauer …, he would write interesting books! Schopenhauer wrote a book called “The World as Will and Idea” — but he was a man and his organ of smell had become an organ of thinking. The dog could write a book called “The World as Will and Smell.” In the dog’s book there would be a great deal beyond the discernment of a human being, because while a human being forms an idea, a mental image of things, a dog smells them. And it is my private opinion that the dog’s book — if the dog were a Schopenhauer — would actually be more interesting than the book that Schopenhauer himself wrote! (Steiner, lecture Aug 9, 1924, GA 354)
First, Steiner got one huge thing wrong. Smelling does not exclude thinking. It is just a deeper kind of thinking. In canineosophy, we call smell thinking a more spiritual thinking; it is really a thinking involving more than simply a cognitive aspect (which is also available to humans). Secondly, he’s absolutely right that humans have inferior sense of smell and that the dog’s book would be more interesting than Schopenhauers. The latter goes without saying, of course. Overall, Steiner shows some essential insights, but without canineosophy he can’t develop further. For example, he coldn’t train himself to develop a spiritual nose (a supersensible organ of the nosy kind) applying anthroposophical methods only. Much less could he lecture to others about how to do it. After all, he didn’t hold any lectures for the First Class of the School of Spiritual Canine Science. He couldn’t. That’s the reason. He was just a human being.