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Old 3rd January 2014, 01:35 PM   #4
Seismosaurus's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,092
Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post
OK I'll start:
I'm skeptical whether animals can actually care about people. Maybe as some say dogs have the moves engrained in their makeup.
Isn't having the moves engrained in your makeup the same thing as having caring about people engrained in your makeup?

When I have had pets they have certainly presented every appearance of caring about me. I've had a dog that acted worried when I wasn't around, that would come and find me if she could, that would protect me if she thought I was in danger, that would come and sleep near me (preferably in my bed if I let her)... and so on.

I suppose one can say that the dog merely presented the appearance of caring about me without actually experiencing the emotion of caring - that it behaved that way because of some other cause.

But then, couldn't we just as easily ask that question of people too? If a man's wife acts like she cares about him how can he really know that she actually does care about him, rather than being motivated by some other cause that merely produces the same results? The only difference is that she can actually tell him she cares... but isn't that just another behaviour apparently related to caring? If we can attribute other "apparently caring" behaviours so some other causal factor, can't we attribute her saying she cares to the same thing?

And really, if whatever this other causal factor is produces all the same results that actually caring produces, then isn't that the same thing as caring, by definition?
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