2 Answers

  1. To begin with, the presence of animal consciousness is a controversial issue among psychologists, philosophers, sociologists, and people whose professions are connected with society and man. To resolve the issue, many experiments were conducted that prove the presence of higher primates, if not the rudiments of consciousness, then exactly the perception of themselves and others. Read an interesting story about Koko the gorilla, taught some words and phrases. With the help of gestures, she could transmit her feelings to the person who worked with her (for example, after the death of a kitten to which the gorilla had a positive attitude, she showed with gestures that she was sad, so she was aware of the emotion and could even classify it. When a new kitten was brought to her, Coco began to rock it in her paws like a small child and, indeed, with the help of gestures, said about the kitten “baby”). But this is almost the only experiment of its kind, and it does not show that animals of other species have consciousness. Psychologists of various fields will also work on this: zoopsychologists, neuropsychologists, psychophysiologists, psychologists dealing with thinking issues, and others.

    Human consciousness also does not have clear criteria by which it can be accurately determined: this is what a person comprehends, and this happens, in simple terms, “automatically”, according to the unconscious program genetically embedded in us. There is a version that consciousness generally occupies a small percentage in the human psyche, and most of the things we do, including behavior, come from unconscious processes. There is some truth in this.

    Therefore, in order to answer your question, we need clear criteria, first, consciousness, and, secondly, the division of consciousness into human and animal consciousness. But, since we are not yet sure if the latter is available, the question remains open.

  2. Comparing the psyche of an animal with that of a human allows us to distinguish the following main differences between them.

    1. An animal can only act within the framework of a situation that is perceived directly, and all the acts performed by it are limited by biological needs, that is, the motivation is always biological.

    Animals don't do anything that doesn't serve their biological needs. The concrete, practical thinking of animals makes them dependent on the immediate situation. Only in the process of oriented manipulation is the animal able to solve problematic problems. A person, on the other hand, thanks to abstract, logical thinking can foresee events, do things according to cognitive necessity – consciously.

    Thinking is closely related to broadcasting. Animals only send signals to their relatives about their own emotional states, while humans use language to inform others in time and space, transmitting social experiences. Thanks to language, each person uses an experience that has been developed by humanity for thousands of years and which they have never directly perceived.

    1. Animals can use objects as tools, but no animal can create a tool. Animals do not live in a world of permanent things, do not perform collective actions. Even observing the actions of another animal, they will never help each other, act together.

    Only a person creates tools according to a well-thought-out plan, uses them for their intended purpose and saves them for the future. He lives in a world of permanent things, uses tools together with other people, takes over the experience of using tools and passes it on to others.

    1. The difference between the psyche of animals and humans is in feelings. Animals are also capable of experiencing positive or negative emotions, but only a person can sympathize in grief or joy with another person, enjoy the pictures of nature, and experience intellectual feelings.

    2. Conditions for the development of the psyche of animals and humans are the fourth difference. The development of the psyche in the animal world is subject to biological laws, and the development of the human psyche is determined by socio-historical conditions.

    Both humans and animals are characterized by instinctive reactions to stimuli, the ability to gain experience in life situations. However, only a person can appropriate social experience that develops the psyche.

    From the moment of birth, the child learns how to use tools and communication skills. This, in turn, develops the sensory sphere, logical thinking, and forms the individual's personality. A monkey will manifest itself as an ape under any conditions, and a person will only become a person if his development takes place among people. This is confirmed by cases of raising human children among animals.

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