Read e-book online Animal Thought PDF


By Stephen Walker

ISBN-10: 0710090374

ISBN-13: 9780710090379

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But the fact that stories of blind rats being led about by their seeing companions were very numerous was not, with the best will in the world, a very good reason for asserting that rats are highly intelligent (p. 360). Therefore, although Romanes is given the credit for founding comparative psychology (Boring, 1950), his gullibility in Animal Intelligence tended to obscure the Darwinian case, and the occasional sensible things Romanes said in his later books, Mental Evolution in Animals (1883) and Mental Evolution in Man (1888).

Huxley, 1906, p. 96) If the mind is construed as brain activity, and the human and chimpanzee brains are so similar, whence arises the intellectual gulf? Huxley curtly gives the language argument in a footnote: A man born dumb, notwithstanding his great cerebral mass and his inheritance of strong intellectual instincts, would be capable of few higher intellectual manifestations than an Orang or Chimpanzee, if he were confined to the society of dumb associates. (Huxley, 1906, p. 26) Marx (1818—83) and Engels (1820—95) as post-Darwinians Darwin was much more interested in plants and beetles than in human societies, and the brief section on ‘Natural Selection as affecting Civilized Nations’ in the Descent is largely defensive, with the aim of rebutting suggestions such as that of Galton, to the effect that, in civilised societies, the poor and reckless members outbreed the provident and virtuous, thus preventing any improvements by natural selection.

89). Clearly, this is a version of Hume, but Schopenhauer suggests that higher animals (mammals) not only have an understanding of learned perceptual associations, but also have a certain amount of a priori knowledge of causality. A young puppy, he says, is reluctant to jump off a table, because it foresees the consequences. Not everyone would accept this, since it tends now to be assumed that young mammals simply have an innate fear of depth, rather than a knowledge of the consequences of falling into depths, but the innate avoidance can reasonably be put down as a predetermined disposition and it may well be the case that the mammalian nervous system is extremely amenable to the formation of rules by which locomotion is linked with being in different places, even if such linkages are normally activated by experience—and this would certainly Count as a Kantian a priori.

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Animal Thought by Stephen Walker

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