Afterthoughts on Animal Minds
“The evolutionary continuity of mental experience” is the subtitle of Donald Griffin’s little classic of 1976 on “The question of animal awareness.” The thrust of that subtitle and a major theme of the book is the proposition that the human species is not unique except in degree. That proposition is so consonant with our general biological understanding that there must be overwhelming agreement with Griffin, at least among biologists. However, there is still ample room for biologists to disagree on the matter of degree, on the matter of emphasis, and on the definition of mental experience. I, for one, regard the difference in degree to be so enormous that it is equivalent to a qualitative difference. That feeling was reinforced here by visiting the great Dahlem museum of art and the Berlin opera — and by our gathering here to address the issue.
KeywordsNonhuman Animal Affective Experience Mental Life Mental Experience Ample Room
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