Download e-book for iPad: Animal Thought by Stephen Walker

By Stephen Walker

ISBN-10: 0710090374

ISBN-13: 9780710090379

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He was an admirer of ’the excellent Locke’, and therefore addressed the issues of animal capabilities in the same way as Locke and Hume, as well as delivering himself of Kantian metaphysical obscurities. The most succinct statement of Schopenhauer’s analysis of animal thought appears in ‘On the Irrational Intellect’, in the second volume of his magnum opus, The World as Will and Idea, and his biological theories are contained in the long essay On the Will in Nature. But, like Locke and Hume, Schopenhauer interrupted his discussions of human knowledge with comments on the approximations to such knowledge achieved by domestic pets and lesser organisms in general.

G. Boring, 1950). 32 Kant claimed that Hume’s first Enquiry awoke him from ‘dogmatic slumbers’: the unpalatability of the conclusions which resulted from Hume’s scepticism was sufficiently stirring to require Kant’s Critiques, but in bringing back nativism, in the form of innate or ‘a priori’ concepts, Kant was also in direct opposition to Locke. There was of course no science of genetics in the eighteenth century, and although Kant wrote on astronomy, meteorology and physical geography, he did not have Hume’s interest in comparative anatomy.

For Schopenhauer, the distinction between animals and men does not therefore lie in subjective awareness, but in the traditional mark of reason—’The brute feels and perceives; man, in addition to this thinks and knows: both will’ (1883 vol. 1, p. 47). Animals live in the present, and have intuitive representations, which allow what Schopenhauer calls understanding, to the extent of understanding proper names (1915, p. 117), but are incapable of reflecting on past and future events (in particular their own death), and cannot form ‘abstract conceptions’.

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Animal Thought by Stephen Walker


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