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Author Topic: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"  (Read 5638 times)

nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #200 on: August 12, 2019, 06:05:06 AM »
Queen Bee disagrees.

Thank you kassy, I had not thought of that. You refined my understanding.

I still think I'm on to something because in the case of ants, bees etc. they were made that way, build that way. You could say for example that all ant-eaters are specialized but that is not what I mean. The same blueprint -> same behaviour; generalists within the species. In the case of ants and bees you could call the queen and workers subspecies and see that in fact they are not specialized individuals. They do what's expected of the (sub-) species.They are generalists. Yes the queen is a generalist in my view because all queens are the same. I wish with this it is clear to you what I mean.

Now I have to refine my definition and wording to capture what I mean.
For me that's difficult; to be complete and unequivocal. Modern human language, what a disaster.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly"

petm

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #201 on: August 12, 2019, 06:28:47 AM »
Now I have to refine my definition and wording to capture what I mean.
For me that's difficult; to be complete and unequivocal. Modern human language, what a disaster.

Are you referring to innate v. learned; nature v. nurture; body v. brain, or even lizard brain v. cerebral cortex?

wdmn

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #202 on: August 12, 2019, 06:58:49 AM »
Queen Bee disagrees.

Thank you kassy, I had not thought of that. You refined my understanding.

I still think I'm on to something because in the case of ants, bees etc. they were made that way, build that way. You could say for example that all ant-eaters are specialized but that is not what I mean. The same blueprint -> same behaviour; generalists within the species. In the case of ants and bees you could call the queen and workers subspecies and see that in fact they are not specialized individuals. They do what's expected of the (sub-) species.They are generalists. Yes the queen is a generalist in my view because all queens are the same. I wish with this it is clear to you what I mean.

Now I have to refine my definition and wording to capture what I mean.
For me that's difficult; to be complete and unequivocal. Modern human language, what a disaster.

ugh "made that way, built that way."

ugh... why would you assume that the same blueprint must necessarily generate the same behaviour across all members in all species? That is a hypothesis, testable, and not a matter of logic. If you begin with the definition that all members of a species must behave the same, then you have changed the definition of species, and a different logic follows. You are confusing empirical and logical propositions, as you have been throughout this thread.

Quote
Are you referring to innate v. learned; nature v. nurture; body v. brain, or even lizard brain v. cerebral cortex?

the limits of human to other animal analogies?... Part of the human blueprint allows for large differences to appear in behaviour through "nurture" (i.e. epigenetics). That is part of (human) nature, no, even if it is not the nature of all other species?

It is so important to see the difference between empirical propositions and logical propositions (or when we are treating a proposition as one or the other). When we should be looking to evidence (which allows for all sorts of difference between species, including humans, which, in spite of our consciousness does not make us unnatural in a darwinian -- or scientific -- sense), versus when we should be looking at our presuppositions, and the way that our language works.

example: man is the unnatural animal (treated as an empirical proposition): what is the definition of unnatural, and does man meet the criteria? Evidence is required.

treated as a logical proposition: man is defined as the unnatural animal. No evidence is required, since the statement is a truism. But what are the consequences? Are there contradictions which arise? If so, where is the tension in our presuppositions?

TerryM

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #203 on: August 12, 2019, 08:10:22 AM »
My experience observing pets has left me believing that mammals at least act and react as individuals. I've no knowledge whether this extends to other species, or even mammals in the wild - but I strongly suspect that it does.


A poodle jumping through hoops on stage has learned a specialty, but it could be argued that he's merely responding to conditioning, that the actions are little more than a response to training. I assume that if a whale discovered bubble netting and taught a few friends, he could be seen as a specialist in communication and organization when eliciting the help of others to create a hunting party.


If something similar took place in an isolated tribal setting we might consider the organizer as a hunt coordinator, a hunt leader or a hunting chieftain. Any of these might be considered specialists as much as the old man who knaps their tribal points or the old woman who trains young girls to embellish their unique pottery.


If a particular bear begins breaking into cabins instead of chasing rabbits, can't it be be said that he's learned a specialty, and is by definition a specialist?


Both an airline baggage handler and the PhD who designed the engine are specialists. Levels of complexity don't alter that fact.
Terry

nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #204 on: August 12, 2019, 09:55:15 AM »
Thanks guys.
I see all kinds of distinctions but don't know how to precisely describe them. I need exact definitions and human language doesn't provide. Au contraire.
I'm full of ..but  ..but ..but. But I've decided to let go, sorry.
I would love to be in private personal real-life contact and discuss further. That would considerably speed up the truth-finding process and mutual understanding. Could even share a joint whilst discussing :).

I once made a comment in the Guardian about the shortcomings of human language. I'll try to find it petm, to clarify what I mean and maybe you'll find it interesting.

edit: found it: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/12/uk-butterflies-worst-hit-in-2016-with-70-of-species-in-decline-study-finds#comment-96508160
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly"

philopek

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #205 on: August 12, 2019, 06:43:31 PM »
A stinging retort. ;D
Terry

yeah but that's ONE of all the rest compared to almost ALL with very few exception hence i think the retort is a retort for the sake of retorting and mostly backfires (stings) to the retorter for the umpteenth time.

cognitivebias2

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #206 on: August 12, 2019, 06:56:12 PM »
A stinging retort. ;D
Terry

yeah but that's ONE of all the rest compared to almost ALL with very few exception hence i think the retort is a retort for the sake of retorting and mostly backfires (stings) to the retorter for the umpteenth time.


 :o :o
Philopek,

Why assume some kind of an agenda.  The response was a direct refutation, and not unkind in approach, but rather somewhat humorous, and appropriate. 

On a signal to noise ratio, I believe kassy ranks way higher than you.  I don't believe there is a cogent point in your comment.


TerryM

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #207 on: August 12, 2019, 07:11:05 PM »
I think the posts were all made tongue in cheek - or stinger in check. :P
Terry

kassy

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #208 on: August 12, 2019, 08:21:59 PM »
Well it was just the obvious example and i was just curious what nanning would come up with.  :)

It is just discussing a theory and when doing that with friends you want to look at the weak points. Can i poke a hole in it? That is just a discussion and in the end the theory should come out better (or it might die).

Quote
The same blueprint -> same behaviour; generalists within the species. In the case of ants and bees you could call the queen and workers subspecies and see that in fact they are not specialized individuals. They do what's expected of the (sub-) species.They are generalists. Yes the queen is a generalist in my view because all queens are the same. I wish with this it is clear to you what I mean.

But how specialized are we humans?

Security guards, policemen, prison guards, traffic directing guys, BOA´s, airport inspectors. All the same.

There is all kinds of programming but most of them are doing the same.

All salespeople sell something.

Some consumers have a very specific taste different from other consumers but that makes them specialized in taste not overall behavior.

I am not sure that we are really all individually specialized.


Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

nanning

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #209 on: August 13, 2019, 05:11:02 AM »
<snip>
I am not sure that we are really all individually specialized.
Thank you for thinking about it kassy :).
My assumption was that in living nature all animals are generalists and I thought I saw a clear distinction with civilisation humans. But as with many problems, often the answer is less simple than expected.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly"

petm

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Re: Is Man the "Unnatural Animal?"
« Reply #210 on: August 13, 2019, 05:14:22 AM »
Scientists are extremely specialized. Many other professions too. At least, specialized in their knowledge...