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Old 01-22-2012, 07:22 AM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Does your dog or cat have conscious thought?

Originally Posted by Typo View Post
I still don't see how there can be varying degrees of self awareness or consciousness. Would a proponent of this theory care to explain?
Define more clearly your understanding of what it is to be "self aware"? Some think it's entirely possible that we as a species aren't fully "self aware". We know, for example that people can be hit over the head one day, and then be able to calculate pi for thousands of digits in their head the next day, it's rare, but this type of spontaneous savant-ness has been observed multiple times. This may imply that we really don't use most of our own conscious potential, and aren't as aware of ourselves as we like to think.

I know that's pretty out there, but it serves to help make the previous point. "Self awareness" isn't necessarily a black and white thing.

Originally Posted by typo
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).
All evolutionary or genetic changes are relatively small. Dogs as they are today are not philosophers in their own right as far as we know. Fast forward to the future genetic relatives of "dogs" in "x" number of years and who knows what we'll have.

Originally Posted by typo
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.
Again, this is a somewhat loose and arguable position to take. Example: most social animals "play". The direct benefit to this behavior is much the same as it is for us. Bonding, release from boredom, relaxation. These are examples of things an animal does to improve it's own mental situation. Most pack and social animals even exhibit a direct sense of not only them self and their own status, they understand their role and the roles of those around them, they even have envy and drive to improve their own standing within the pack. If this sounds similar to what we humans do on a much higher level, it's because it's exactly what most of us do.

Last edited by Dr_Watso; 01-22-2012 at 07:48 AM.
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