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Through Our Eyes Only?The Search for Animal Consciousness$
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Marian Stamp Dawkins

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198503200

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198503200.001.0001

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Miss Halsey moves her foot

Miss Halsey moves her foot

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter Two Miss Halsey moves her foot
Source:
Through Our Eyes Only?
Author(s):

Marian Stamp Dawkins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198503200.003.0002

The first part of human's quest for consciousness in other species is to look at what is now known about their behaviour and to see whether this can be dismissed as simply the workings of unthinking, unfeeling automata, blindly going through a set series of actions with no hint of a mind to guide them or whether what they do is complex enough and unpredictable enough that it suggests the possibility – even a remote one – that somewhere a spark of consciousness has come alight. A stumbling block that many people have when they look at animals is that they see their behaviour as being the opposite of clever and complex. In fact, they see animals as essentially stupid.

Keywords:   animal consciousness, animal behaviour, animal species, automata, unpredictability, stupidity

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