Self Containers

Do Animals Really Know Themselves?

Do animals have a sense of self? Or is selfhood unique to humans? That's a trickier question than we might at first suppose. In recent issues of Salvo, we looked at problem-solving intelligence in animals. Recapping: Claims for chimpanzee intelligence are generally overrated; on some tests, birds or dogs do as well as or better than chimps. And yes, bonobos use tools, but then so do birds, crocodiles, some fish, and octopuses. But only some species in all these vast animal divisions do so. We don't know why they do and others don't.

Nonetheless, popular science literature routinely claims that apes and humans behave similarly. Apes are said to, among other things, mourn their...

 

is a Canadian journalist, author, and blogger. She blogs at Blazing Cat Fur, Evolution News & Views, MercatorNet, Salvo, and Uncommon Descent.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #34, Fall 2015 Copyright © 2020 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo34/self-containers

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