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Understanding Dogs

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posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 10:07 PM
Unscientific hubris.

Animals demonstrably have feelings, thoughts and take action to achive goals, often with elaborate steps.

Yes, there are instincts. Yes, you must teach an animal to see you as if you are one of them by learning how best to communicate. Yes, some humans abuse animals somewhat unintentionally by attempting to humanize them and not putting in the proper effort to understand and communicate.

Yet, no amount of vocabulary words or tortured reasoning can prove the lack of intelligence and emotion in animals.

There are many current studies revealing the opposite, such as how animals express grief, are impacted by music and how they remember people and events- both positive and negative. Dogs and cats may even develop anxieties when owners fail to understand them and respond to their needs- often it is a miscommunication which led to the issue.

The argument itself reveals more about the person making it than the concept. Why would it be necessary or preferable to lessen the intrinsic nature, capabilities and intelligence of animals? Why the drive to do so?

Why would an ability to sense our state of mind and react to it strengthen an argument claiming they cannot 'think' or reason? Why would animals play and even become attached to toys?

Instinct/ domination/ punishment/ reward does not cover it. Many humans work with an animal's instinct, learn and understand it and then build communication from there. A foundation of trust builds a relationship. When a person understands the animal and respects it and provides proper outlets for it, it grows.

I have worked with dogs, cats, birds, cows, goats, horses, chickens and interacted with deer, pelicans, racoon and others. Animals think and feel. They have distinct temperaments- crafty, shy, goofy, quick to be offended, affectionate, aloof. They learn, they fight, they grieve. They are not humans. They are animals yet they are majestic as they are.

I don't create these states of being, I observe them. I don't make them into characters to please myself- it is as they are.

posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 11:10 PM
a reply to: sayaangel

There are many current studies revealing the opposite, such as how animals express grief, are impacted by music and how they remember people and events- both positive and negative. Dogs and cats may even develop anxieties when owners fail to understand them and respond to their needs- often it is a miscommunication which led to the issue.

I think you have completely misunderstood what I've written.

I am not denying thinking or feeling: only that what we call "thinking", is reflexive cognition that occurs as a function of feeling-dynamics.

The same exact semiotic process exists in us, and we, in fact, can think in ways that are somewhat parallel to animals. But when we focus our mind or apply a focusing to our attentions, we are using our consciousness in a way that an animal cannot.

Nary a scientist today will afford the quality of consciousness to any animal - chimps included. Consciousness is not the same as mind, which is to be characterized as the flow of meaningful experience. Consciousness is the quality of knowing that you experience - which entails a symbolic consciousness and the various semiotic differentiations that a language system allows human beings to think

Why would an ability to sense our state of mind and react to it strengthen an argument claiming they cannot 'think' or reason? Why would animals play and even become attached to toys?

This is a reflexive process - intrinsic to the autopoietic system itself.

Autopoiesis is a term coined by the philosophers Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela for the self-organizing dynamic of living processes. Evolution begins small, then evolves. Thus, before there is conscious human reasoning, there is a reasoning-like process in natural self-organizing systems. The entire animal world is composed of a point-counterpoint dialogue between creatures that variously "capture" aspects of one another's functionality, and hence, they are dialoguing with one another.

Would you ascribe a "reasoner" inside the buzzing bee? Something great, of course, seems to be happening here, yet there is no embodied self-aware creature in the bee: it is largely automatic and has no space for "knowing" in any existential way. Humans are simply projecting a desire we have: for them to be as alive to the existence of things as we are.

Nothing I'm writing, btw, is unscientific. It's based on very sound neuroscientific, ethological, and biosemiotic research.

No where did I deny the feeling-truths of the animals we relate with. Nor have I said anything other than that there is rich meaning in the subtle sensorimotor ways in which dogs largely communicate - a level which largely lies below peoples narrativizing awareness, being too involved with themselves than with the behavioral signals of the animals they relate with (not a quip at you; just a general truth about many people vis-à-vis animals).

posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 11:16 PM

originally posted by: Astrocyte
a reply to: SprocketUK

It could be more correct to say loyalty and courage.

Don't you think "loyalty and courage" are human desires, i.e. that such concepts don't even exist to the dog?

For instance, loyalty is just an expression of the positive relationship you have with a dog. The dog knows you and anyone you are positively related to and whom the dog has a long history of being around as similar to you.

Same thing with courage: the dog does not know what courage is because they do not know what it means to challenge their inner experience of fear, and so act differently.

Dogs simply act, so when they bark and bite, its simply a behavioral reflex of theirs when they're afraid.

GSD's suffer from the same stereotypes also, but the ones I have had have been babied and made a fuss of all their lives. They have been perfect family dogs for my kids to grow up with, even though people often cross the road with their kids to avoid being near them when they are out on the lead.

Nice. When it comes to dogs, I think the whole idea of wanting an aggressive dog is a bit of a human fixation - a mostly unhealthy one at that, inasmuch as the dog is always a mirror of ourselves i.e. dogs relate with humans.

Lions, Tigers, Jaguars, Great White Sharks, Komodo Dragons etc, are killers who will never change - and that is quite fine with me. Nature is much larger than the human imagination, as the Earth has all sorts of nits and crannies which support weird and creepy life. Out on the Savannah of Africa, or the forest of Europe, there is killing, and that's the natural order, as we say. But creatures which express how humans are through their own behavior seem to fall within the orbit of "they could change if we simply let them". This also goes to the heart of human motivation and behavior itself: some people don't realize that they're desire/felt need to beat/traumatize a dog is about their own need to identify with a strong self, I.e. one that affects people through fear.

All the above animals don't think - they just act. People who think animals think like people are caught up in an anthropomorphic fantasy about animals - giving them abilities that aren' based in anything they do, unlike the human being, which thinks and perceives in concepts because we communicate such concepts through language. All the biological evidence seems to suggest that Meta-representation, or thinking about your own thinking, seems to entail communicative abilities that can contain/compress such powers of perception.

Courage and loyalty, well, dogs are loyal to their pack, if another dog attacks their alpha, they join in to defend it, courage, dogs can be scared, yet they still do what they are told or required.
I admit, I am a dog person, I like my dogs way more than I like people. feed them, show them love and keep them safe and they won't ever let you down. (Except in little ways, like taking one of your shoes up the garden or stealing the sausages off the kitchen worktop occasionally)
edit on 15pSat, 08 Jul 2017 23:17:15 -050020172017-07-08T23:17:15-05:00kAmerica/Chicago31000000k by SprocketUK because: them not tem

posted on Jul, 8 2017 @ 11:38 PM
Why does my dog greet my hubby in such a way that can only look like pure joy? It's like he wants to get in his skin.
I'm almost positive he can read my mind even if he is in another room. He has a character that is so funny and comical.
I also give him the choice to choose his own dinner. I will put different selections of food on the floor to choose from and he will make different choices every time by touching his preference. Then eats it with pleasure. The ranges of food would be yoghurt, sealed packet of wet food, dry dog food, cheese, ham and tin food. He then is alowed to pick 3 food items which he does with his paw. It's incredible to watch.
edit on 7 8 2017 by sussy because: alowed not aloud

posted on Jul, 9 2017 @ 01:02 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

Consciouness- an awareness of 'self' and the world.

Are you claiming dogs and other animals do not posess consciousness?

Animals may not have language, yet they do communicate with each other with noises, utterances, body language and other ways. They do learn to communicate with us if given the opportunity to do so.

Is a human without language less of a human?

Can we truly speak with authority about the inner life of animals? I don't think we can. We can speak anatomy and structure and posit ideas. We can test these ideas.

'Science' is used to prove the inferiority of women and select ethnicities and skin colors and as justification for all manner of outrages, such as forced sterilizations. Actual science does admit that which it cannot prove, and although we may argue opinion, it needs to be recognized as an opinion. You may want to reconsider the theory that those who do not agree with you are deluded in some way.

As far as humans seeing what they desire, to me, this is like saying, 'Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?' If you are exposed to animals, you experience their awareness and communication, at varying levels, dependent upon what they have been exposed to and the knowledge of the human viewer.

Scientists have explored and have pointed to self awareness for many animals- orangutan, chimps, gorillas, elephants, orcas, dolphin among them. One method used is the mirror test, but few scientists would claim this is the only method. Koko the gorilla is an example that springs to mind, although having 39 years of interation with humans is rare and unusual.

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