Do Animals Have Minds?

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Humans have for centuries pondered on the mind, its existence, its beginning, it’s limit, it’s substance, and fought many different arguments against them all. But how do we know if any animals have a mind? Is intelligence unique to humans? Professor Donald Griffin has pointed out that “consciousness is not a tidy all-or-nothing entity, it varies with age, culture, experience and gender. And if animals have conscious experiences, these presumably vary widely as well.” If humans have minds, it must be possible that animals also have minds. And though no one would believe that earthworms and earwigs have thought processes like our own, it has been proven that chimps share 98% of genome with humans. Chimps have also shown that they can lie…show more content…
By saying this we would have to wonder why other animals have not also adapted to our level. What could be stopping them? If we are all made of the same chemicals what has held the others back and why are we the only creatures to make it this far? There are many strong counter- arguments to animals also having minds. We would have to wonder what else could be making the difference, and only by stepping totally out of a materialist view and into a realm beyond science can we begin to figure this out. Rene Descartes through the Cartesian method of thinking from the very foundations of what he was sure, established ultimately that he is thinking, that it is the only thing he is sure of. We can only be sure of what is self- evident. He argues that ‘the senses are not designed to give us knowledge at all, but are rather meant to help us move through the world in a very practical way’. So can we be sure at all that animals have minds, as intellect may be the only truth and we can not communicate clearly enough with animals to know this? Most animals rely on their senses rather than judgement (something tested by science in various tests on animals), something which Descartes believes separates humans from animals. And if senses are not at all a help to the mind but a guide for the body to move through life in a practical way, animals surely do not have minds, as they are lacking the ability to judge.

In evaluating these two arguments, I would
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