Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Sunday, December 11, 2011


- little rat in my yard

Sometimes the prevalence of human exceptionalism gets me down - I just listened to a Philosophy Bites podcast about animal minds in which Tim Crane, a philosophy professor at Cambridge, opines that animals don't think like we think, don't think about what we think about. Descartes thought animals didn't think at all, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas thought only humans had "rational souls", and the assertion so often made is that only humans have the ability to reflect .... I've got to say, I've met a number of people who don't seem to be able to reflect, and anyway, how can we possibly know for sure that some animals cannot reflect? Just wondering - do philosophers (or for that matter, theologians) ever read science journals? Research is showing more and more evidence that animals and people are more alike than different. In the news today, for instance .... Rats Show Empathy, By Freeing Trapped Companions.


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