NYU Professor Thomas Nagel (1974) asked a rather unusual question.
What is it like to be a bat? Do animals think?
The article can be found here: http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/ahyvarin/teaching/niseminar4/Nagel_WhatIsItLikeToBeABat.pdf
This article is not really about whether or not animals think. It's about the subjective concept of experience.
Here's a way to approach it:
1. Nagel is worried about consciousness - something akin to awareness. If other organisms have it, then there must be a sense that "being" that organism is something real - almost like having a personality of sorts. We're really talking about awareness and a sense of purpose.
2. Since the bat lives very differently from humans (the way it senses via sonar is just the beginning), the experience of being a bat is totally inconceivable for us.
3. If we are worried about how a bat experiences things, we cannot think of it as of WE are living as a bat. That makes no sense - we have to see how a bat lives as a bat.
4. When a bat is hungry, say, what does this hunger feel like? How is it experienced? WE cannot import our own experiences with hunger, since we have no evidence that bats feel it (or "consider" it) in a way similar to us.
5. This implies that being a bat has a language, a set of concepts that can only develop insofar as you're actually a bat. The way humans consider things generates its own set of ideas that cannot be exported onto the animal world.
6. Experience is the connection between out subjective states, and the "external" objective reality of the world. This means that experience is mediated by who we are: human ...
The expert examines what it is like to be a bat. Whether animals think are determined.
Help with a problem solving simulation is given.
This problem is assessed:
Consider this problem: A man has three animals on a riverbank: a dog,cat, and a mouse. The man needs to get all three animals to the other side of the river, but can only carry himself and one animal at a time.
The man cannot leave the dog and cat together because the dog will eat the cat. similarly, if the man leaves the cat and mouse together, the cat will eat the mouse.
Help the man figure out a system for transporting each of the animals across the river without any of them getting eaten.
Consider the following questions: Do you use a problem solving process?
*How did you interpret the problem?
*What strategy did you use and how did you evaluate your progress?
*Did you encounter any obstacles while solving the problem?
*Were you aware of this thought process as you worked through the problem?
I think you have to take the cat first. What do you think? I would really like some help.View Full Posting Details