David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
There is little doubt that animals are ―conscious‖. Animals hunt prey, escape predators, explore new environments, eat, mate, learn, feel, and so forth. If one defines consciousness as being aware of external events and experiencing mental states such as sensations and emotions (Natsoulas, 1978), then gorillas, dogs, bears, horses, pigs, pheasants, cats, rabbits, snakes, magpies, wolves, elephants, and lions, to name a few creatures, clearly qualify. The contentious issue rather is: Do these animals know that they are perceiving an external environment and experiencing internal events? Are animals self-conscious? Recent attempts at understanding animal consciousness (e.g., Edelman & Seth, 2009) agree that non-human animals most probably possess ―primary‖ (or ―minimal‖) consciousness. But these views also argue that unlike humans animals lack many (but not all) elements that make up higher-order consciousness—the capacity to self-reflect on the contents of primary consciousness. In this chapter I will aim at offering a more elaborate picture of this position. I will present detailed information on what is meant by ―higher-order consciousness‖—i.e., selfawareness. I will suggest that some dimensions of self-awareness (e.g., self-recognition, metacognition, mental time travel) may be observed in several animals, but that numerous additional aspects (e.g., self-rumination, emotion awareness) seem to be absent. Some other self-related processes, such as Theory-of Mind, have been identified in animals, but not as the full-fledged versions found in humans. I will postulate that these differences in levels of selfawareness between humans and animals may be attributable to one distinctive feature of human experience: the ability to engage in inner speech.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Alasdair Cochrane (2011). An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory. Palgrave Macmillan.
Holly L. Wilson (2011). Kant's Treatment of Animals. In Paul Pojman (ed.), Food Ethics. Wadsworth.
Rocco J. Gennaro (2009). Animals, Consciousness, and I-Thoughts. In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. 184--200.
Derek A. Denton (1993/1994). The Pinnacle of Life: Consciousness and Self-Awareness in Humans and Animals. Harpersanfrancisco.
Holly L. Wilson (2008). The Green Kant: Kant's Treatment of Animals. In Paul Pojman Louis Pojman (ed.), in Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Application.
E. M. Macphail (1998). The Evolution of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
J. Smith, W. Shields & D. Washburn (2003). The Comparative Psychology of Uncertainty Monitoring and Metacognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (3):317-339.
Shaun Gallagher (2006). Where's the Action? Epiphenomenalism and the Problem of Free Will. In Susan Pockett, William P. Banks & Shaun Gallagher (eds.), Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? MIT Press. 109-124.
Peter Carruthers (2005). Why the Question of Animal Consciousness Might Not Matter Very Much. Philosophical Psychology 18 (1):83-102.
Robert W. Lurz (1999). Animal Consciousness. Journal of Philosophical Research 24 (January):149-168.
Added to index2010-05-19
Total downloads46 ( #35,203 of 1,098,834 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #114,377 of 1,098,834 )
How can I increase my downloads?