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Nonhuman empathy

Jason Ebaugh ebau0002 at tc.umn.SPAMNOT.edu
Thu Feb 11 14:19:40 EST 1999


Michael Edelman <mje at mich.com> wrote:





>What you're doing is commiting the anthropomorphic fallacy- you're assigning
>human emotions, thoughts, etc. to an animal without justification.

Saying "he gets nervous" is a little close to the line of
anthromorphizing. But my observation is of behavior. He hides. Again,
you have ideology on your side. To assume he has a blank mental life
is as unsupported as to say he has a mental life. 
	Would anyone who supports the classical behaviorist notion of a blank
mental life care to explain how reactions are responsible for my
turtles behavior. You can't beyond just sayin, "your turtle hiding is
a reaction". Reactions explain things like flinching and ejaculation.
They are insufficient in this case. I admitt the other altrernatives
do little better, but you can not say "it is a reaction" and leave it
at that. You need support for that notion. 






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