Originally Posted by criz p. critter
So there can be no yes or no answer to this question. There has to be a whole range of possibilities between "do they" and "don't they". In other words, at one end are things like amoebas, and at the other are things like us. In between is everything else, and everything else will have a degree of self-awareness depending on where it is on the scale.
This is wrong. How could anything be only partly aware of its own existence?
Originally Posted by Duckenheimer
I don't see how this follows, why self awareness and the ability to create agriculture and progress that can extend from that should be so linearly related...
If my dogs do not have it, but develop self awareness tomorrow, with no other mental or physical changes, I don't see how their capabilities could possibly change to any extraordinary degree.
Or we're smarter and capable of more complex and controlling behaviour, regardless of self awareness.
I mean, if dogs are not self aware, but magically became so overnight, albeit remaining the same in all other ways, I don't see how there is any possible way that their level of intelligence and their physical abilities would ever enable them to "conquer! Create things! Build things! ".
I do know my Alsation is very bright and absolutely not happy to be just lying around and chewing things. She needs to explore and to see new things and to hunt. That's goal orientated behaviour, just on a different scale from (not all, either...) humans.
Here's what I think you're missing. Yeah, of course dogs won't wake up one day self-aware and start doing incredible things. We didn't! It has taken us a couple millennia to get where we are today. Humans started as primitive creatures, too. The huge difference that set humans apart from the very beginning, however, is that they were aware of their selves.
But this point isn't worth trying to justify. Dogs will never be self-aware because they have reached the end of their evolution. The only ways they can change from this point forward are small, like better paws for linoleum flooring (or, whatever).
The reason why self awareness and our advancement is a linear relationship is that self-aware beings are the only ones who go above and beyond what nature gives them. Not because they have to, but because they want to. They are aware of their selves, and they want better lives for themselves.