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Just another story about our best friend

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Let me start the new year with this story. In short, it is just one of those many (real) tales where a human being’s life is saved by a dog.

Oh, and just en passant: why is it considered that the darwinist theory can be applied only to physical characteristics? What if not only the brain, but also intelligence, abstract thinking, and other related stuff are „darwinistically” developed? What if a dolphin, an ape, a horse or a dog are really thinking (even if in a lesser degree than humans?). My guess is that, if this is right, then we have a big ethical problem…

Written by Andrei Stavilă

Ianuarie 11, 2008 la 11:11 pm

Postat in Gânduri

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2 Răspunsuri

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  1. There are plenty of people working on evolutionary psychology & caetera, Andrei; google it out. As a sample, check out Steven Pinker’s latest article in the NY Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/magazine/13Psychology-t.html?_r=1&ref=science&oref=slogin

    There is an obvious sense in which thought (including „abstract thinking”) or moral sense are proper objects of study for these people; after all, they’re nothing „over and above” our brains :p

    Stefan

    Ianuarie 12, 2008 at 4:22 pm

  2. Thanks for the tip, Stefan 🙂 But I wasn’t implying that thought and moral sense are / could be something “over and above” our brains (I wasn’t implying the opposite either: it was a thought coming from a non-specialist in such problems).
    In what concerns moral problems… well, I’m not sure that the language of „intuition” or that of „(moral) psychology” are quite adequate. Be that as it may, I recognize that one of the most clear and credible accounts of morals as having instinctual basis was offered some 30 years ago by the Nobel prize winner Konrad Lorenz (so nothing new, right?). But even Lorenz wasn’t so fast in reducing morality to psychology…
    About Steven Pinker’s article: I think he makes a confusion between the justification of moral judgments, the motivation to act morally, and the content of morality. I think the latter cannot be confused with the former two. But maybe I’m wrong…
    Finally: in my post, I was not necesarily concerned about an „evolutionary psychology”, but about something like a „comparative” evolutionary psychology. That’s an entirely distinct area…

    andruska

    Ianuarie 12, 2008 at 7:24 pm


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