10.10.2004 kl. 23:04
All this homocentrism in philosophy leaves a foul taste in my mouth. For the most part, it seems to me that humans and other mammals are pretty much concerned with the same things: food, shelter, sex and advancement within some power hierarchy.

But (and this is apparently a big 'but' for some people, no pun intended) humans have art and philsophy, it is said. Well, my response to that is that is the following:

Maybe animals (such as squirrels) do too.

That's just silly, I hear you saying. Well, just pause for a moment and think about it. We don't really have access to any consciousness than our own. We have no way of knowing what a squirrel is thinking. Perhaps it is contemplating the nature of nuts, or asking itself how trees came to be, or messing about with leaves in such a way as it finds aesthetically pleasant. This is perfectly possible. The squirrel's thoughts are inaccessible to me, as are the thoughts of other humans.

Of course, inferring from one's own consciousness that other humans also possess it is one thing. Inferring that squirrels have consciousness from the same premise is a much shakier inference. I realise this. However, assuming that only humans possess consciousness and intelligence is just as dangerous an inference. The only way determine this one way or another is by empirical observation of behaviour, and I''m not so sure that the behaviour of humans which I have observed in my time has done much to convince me that they are more intelligent than squirrels ;).