animals and consciousness?

animals and consciousness? Topic: animals and consciousness?
June 16, 2019 / By Charisma
Question: Do animals have thought processes that they go through? How about animals with very small brains, like a moth? If you could read a moth's thoughts, would there be anything there to read? Do some animals act soley on instinct, and others actually think things out and make decisions? Surely creatures like octopi, or mice actually "think" things through because they are able to problem solve right? But if you put a net over a flying insect, it will automatically fly up into the net, and it will keep trying to go up, it wont go down and under the net, does this mean that insects just react?
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Best Answers: animals and consciousness?

Antoinette Antoinette | 8 days ago
Many animals do not go through a sort of cogitative process like humans do. I laugh at this one commercial where a man is able to understand animals, and his dog comes up to him and starts demanding "SAUSAGES!!! SAUSAGES!!" in a schmarmy Brittish-sounding accent. I laugh because that would probably be what dogs talk like most of the time. Some animals, usually primates show examples of problem-solving behavior, and the ability to grasp certain abstract thoughts. Chimps can be shown drawings depicting how to solve puzzles, and then presented with the puzzles which they quickly solve having first seen the drawings. Chimps realize that their reflections in mirrors are themselves, and not other animals, where dogs and cats usually react to their reflections as they would to other animals. Animals with simpler central nervous systems have predictably simpler behavior. Many of them are simply reacting to stimuli the way they are programmed to. Draw this comparison with computers. Your PC is a complex, powerful computer with lots of circuits that require program data and an operating system. However, you might have a simple control circuit for a car engine part. If pins X, Q, and R have voltage, then pins B and C are connected. It doesn't think or operate a program, it just does this. This could be a circuit that opens a valve under certain conditions. It definitely reacts to inputs, but it's not "thinking" - it's just reacting the way it's wired to. This would be the same as the difference between you and a snail.
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Antoinette Originally Answered: consciousness, animals and humans?
You are correct about the minds of animals being subconscious. The chimp is said by cognitive science to be about 400,000 years behind where man was when he came out of that subconsciousness into full consciousness. Chimps have a rudimentary language, but it will progress very little until they begin advancing inexorably toward that full consciousness, and nothing is guaranteed. Their species could be locked in where it is now, and never progress beyond. "Reason integrates man’s perceptions by means of forming abstractions or conceptions, thus raising man’s knowledge from the perceptual level, which he shares with animals, to the conceptual level, which he alone can reach." "An animal is guided, not merely by immediate sensations, but by percepts. Its actions are not single, discrete responses to single, separate stimuli, but are directed by an integrated awareness of the perceptual reality confronting it. It is able to grasp the perceptual concretes immediately present and it is able to form automatic perceptual associations, but it can go no further." Ayn Rand http://aynrandlexicon.com/
Antoinette Originally Answered: consciousness, animals and humans?
Well, what do you include in consciousness? If it is an umbrella term, which is how I use it, then it includes things like memory, self, ability to solve problems, rationality, critical thinking, perception, awareness, focus or attention, intentionality, desire, feelings, and there are probably other things I'm leaving out. Now, all of these have been observed in animals other than humans and can be verified in animals. The more developed the brain of the animal the more highly developed each of these are. So we would expect more critical thinking, for example, in a chimp than in a rat, simply because of more complex brain structure of chimps compared to rats. All animals have both conscious and unconscious states, which has also been demonstrated. It is easy to illustrate that animals besides humans have conscious in the sense of awareness of itself using the mirror test. But you can also measure the development of "self" by how much personality the animal has, which differs from instance to instances of a species, which could only be observed if there was a self that allowed unique personalities. For example, my two cats, Vocal and Unu, have very different personalities. They have preferences and how they like to relate to me that are different between the two. To me that is a clear indication of self-hood, and thus consciousness. On the other hand, a lizard tends to have less personality differences between two lizards of the same species. They have little self-hood if at all. But they have awareness and react to things around them. So they have consciousness too. Do earthworms have consciousness? I suspect that if they have any it is only of a reactive nature. But I'm willing to be wrong and have not closed any doors. Please note that having verbal abilities has nothing to do with the issue of consciousness or any of its faculties.

Zachery Zachery
There's no particular reason to imagine that animals that are very closely related to us do not undergo similar mental processes. After all, they are in other ways very similar. However, it's also fairly clear that animals can construct pretty elaborate behaviors out of simple instinctual cues. I see no reason to doubt that a number of animal species have some sort of mental flexibility, but, on the other hand, a number of apparently smart activities are not, in fact, thought out.
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Shimea Shimea
The March edition of the National Geographic just had an article in there called "Inside Animal Minds". It talks about birds, dolphins,dogs, but no bugs. Maybe you could get it in you local library for free. It was quite an interesting read.
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Shimea Originally Answered: What are good colleges to go to if I am interested in working with animals? What jobs work with animals?
I dont know what education level you're thinking of. But Cornell University has the best veterinary education and dartmouth has an environmental studies program that takes some courses in south africa

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