Animal Minds by Donald R. Griffin

By Donald R. Griffin

"Animal Minds tackles a question that's either attention-grabbing and significant. the overpowering physique of proof that Donald Griffin has assembled places past average doubt the case for spotting that many non-human animals . . . are able to even more refined considering than many scientists were ready to believe."--Peter Singer, writer of Animal Liberation.

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The relatively simple content of animal thoughts and subjective feelings is almost certainly relevant to the animal's own situation rather than to human concerns. This makes the quest for evidence of consciousness more difficult than if we were searching for a single, well-defined entity comparable, say, to color vision. But the lack of simplicity does not render something unimportant or impossible to detect, analyze, and understand. Objections of "Inclusive Behaviorists" Many people find it difficult to understand why so many behavioral scientists are adamantly reluctant to consider animal consciousness.

As Savory (1959, 78) put the matter, "Of course to interpret the thoughts, or their equivalent, which determine an animal's behaviour is difficult, but this is no reason for not making the attempt to do so. " It is often claimed that human language is what makes conscious thinking possible for us, but that no other species has this capability, as argued by Adler (1967) and Davidson (1982, 1984). This view is widely held even by those who believe it probable that some animals experience at least perceptual consciousness (Natsoulas's Consciousness 3).

This chapter will be devoted to the fonner category, in which the food consists of plants or of animals that are relatively inactive, so that the principal problems are how to locate food and handle it. Chapter 3 will concentrate on predation upon prey that exert effective efforts to escape and can be taken only by means of actively versatile tactics. In some significant situations these tactics include coordinated action by two or more individual predators, and such cases are often very suggestive of simple conscious thinking on the part of the cooperating animals.

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