Do other animals know they are conscious?

Jump to Last Post 1-16 of 16 discussions (38 posts)
  1. marinealways24 profile image59
    marinealways24posted 8 years ago

    Do other animals know they are conscious by the fact of observing other animals dying? Could this observation give other animals awareness of their conscious life?

    1. Richieb799 profile image79
      Richieb799posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Marine, I would imagine they would 'think to themselves that the other animal was just sleeping, I don't think they have the knowledge to comprehend death'
      It's like when an owner of a dog dies and the dog waits around by the body, waiting.. although I'm not 100% sure.

      1. marinealways24 profile image59
        marinealways24posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Ah, but if they had no knowledge to comprehend death, why do they consciously try to stay alive?

        1. Richieb799 profile image79
          Richieb799posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          They obviously recognise that when they are hungry its an unpleasent feeling or if they are attacked it is unpleasent..these are things they've learnt, I really don't know because I'm not an animal, it's something none of us can know I guess

          1. qwark profile image56
            qwarkposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Richie"
            You are NOT an animal?
            Muahhhahahahaha!
            have ya ever laughed till it hurts?
            ohhhahahahahahahaha..ohhhahahahhahahaha etc., etc....adinfinitum!!!!!!

            1. Richieb799 profile image79
              Richieb799posted 8 years agoin reply to this

              no Im a homosapien - theres a difference, read about it wink

              [New Latin Homō sapiēns, species name : Latin homō, man + Latin sapiēns, wise, rational, present participle of sapere, to be wise.]

    2. qwark profile image56
      qwarkposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Animals that recognize themselves in a mirror are what science deems to be "conscious."
      A "great ape" will look at itself, check it's teeth, clean its face fur etc., it knows it is looking at itself.
      Awareness of self is "conscious."
      I don't know this to be a fact, but I think that if a lesser animal reacts in a certain way to "dying," it is instinct. No "reason" involved.

      1. marinealways24 profile image59
        marinealways24posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Some animals have shown reasoning abilities making a decision on prey. Some have been observed contemplating risk factor in catching the prey. I think this shows some evidence that they are weighing out chances and probability of succeeding and also contemplating failing or dying for the prey. Some of them walk away from the prey if they feel the risk is too high.

  2. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 8 years ago

    I have no idea marine. I have heard that animals exist in the now.
    not "thinking" about past or future. they survive on instinct.

    I know when my last pet, dog, was near the end of her life, she knew. she went outside and laid on the ground near a tree. my son and I went and sat with her until the vet came. it was both peaceful and sad.

    1. marinealways24 profile image59
      marinealways24posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry about your dog. It seems they do or would know about past and future to some extent. If they had no recognition of conscious life, it wouldn't make sense for animals to protect their young. They consciously protect their young from "fear of death". They are thinking ahead of the predator killing their young. What do you think?

  3. thooghun profile image82
    thooghunposted 8 years ago

    Elephants are renowned for their observance and recognition of death. They often pause at remains and bones, it looks very much like a funeral.

    As to being conscious, I believe many are. I have often debated instinct versus reason, but owning a dog is enough in my opinion to realize that complex emotions such as pride and jealousy are commonplace, which are obvious examples of reason.

    1. marinealways24 profile image59
      marinealways24posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Great points, thanks. I never heard that about elephants, I will check up on that, sounds interesting. I have dogs as well, they are definately aware of my consciousness, I think they are also aware of their own consciousness to some extent. They also like to observe themselves in the mirror. lol

    2. bonny2010 profile image68
      bonny2010posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      cattle do the same thing - they will stop by a pile of bones and appear to mourn

  4. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 8 years ago

    I would think it has something to do with evolutionary tendencies.
    survival. in the case of a pet, it does seem different as they do display emotions.

    animals display altruistic behaviors with kin. that's  interesting about the elephants.

  5. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 8 years ago

    I found this article that looks very informative. I'm getting ready to do some writing, so can't continue now. another very interesting topic, marine.  I'll come back later to see the discussion. 
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-animal/

    smile

    1. marinealways24 profile image59
      marinealways24posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      That is a good link, I am still reading it. The main question I am drawing so far is, do animals use reasoning or simply instinct? I think they do use reasoning, I am having trouble figuring it out.

  6. Aya Katz profile image81
    Aya Katzposted 8 years ago

    Bow (who is a chimpanzee) is very aware of death. He worries about who will take care of him when I die.

    1. Shadesbreath profile image83
      Shadesbreathposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      As I was working my way down this thread, I was hoping you were going to chime in.  I suspected as much about chimps.  Are there any studies indicating any sort of death rituals or anything?  You know, like the first flower on the grave sort of thing I read about somewhere as the birth of religion in humans etc.

  7. marinealways24 profile image59
    marinealways24posted 8 years ago

    How important in evolution is consciousness of death to understand consciousness of staying alive? Is the consciousness of death the main motivation to stay alive?

  8. livewithrichard profile image86
    livewithrichardposted 8 years ago

    I'd like to think that domesticated animals are conscious. At first I thought maybe its human interaction that allows them to be more conscious than other animals but then I think about how wales and dolphins travel in pods or families and how birds flock together. Maybe some animals have a shared consciousness.

  9. profile image0
    ralwusposted 8 years ago

    anyone ask them? how in the hell would i know such a thing

  10. TheGlassSpider profile image69
    TheGlassSpiderposted 8 years ago

    Hmmm...This is good question. I don't know. I've seen dogs howl and seem to mourn when dogs they've lived with die. I've seen cats seem to be depressed and grieving when one of their own passed away--as a matter of fact, I had a brother and a sister siamese cats) who lived until they were 16; when the brother cat died, the sister starved herself to death. I can't think of anything more conscious--she literally refused to eat (and yes, we took her to the vet, etc etc, there was nothing physically wrong with her).

    I've seen/heard pigs and cows get upset when they hear the slaughter of others of their kind.

    In response to what qwark said about animals looking at themselves--I've seen some cats look in a mirror and seem to understand that they were looking at themselves and others who seemed to think there was another cat in the mirror--are some conscious and others not?

    1. marinealways24 profile image59
      marinealways24posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      We have 2 dogs and 2 cats and they are consistently looking in the mirror. The only ones I have seen get nervous are the ones that aren't used to mirrors or they are seeing them for the first time.

  11. marinealways24 profile image59
    marinealways24posted 8 years ago

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAFQ5kUHPkY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySMh1mBi3cI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNTw7GH325U

    These are some interesting videos. The first ones is monkeys/chimp using reasoning to get a task accomplished, the third one is a bird literally using pieces of bread to lure and catch fish. Amazing.

  12. Richieb799 profile image79
    Richieb799posted 8 years ago

    Marine, I saw that on TV before, where a bird had to use twigs set up by scientists, they even used one twig to reach a longer  twig and then used the longer twig to grasp at and drag the food out of this tube
    Theres no doubt that animals can have some inteligence, but are they wise? some humans aren't wise I know that.

    1. marinealways24 profile image59
      marinealways24posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Look at it this way, compare men fishing on a boat not catching any fish the entire day to the bird that caught multiple fish within the minute. You could say the bird was wiser at how to fish.

      I think they are wiser than us on how to survive in their environment, we are wiser than them at how to survive in our environment.

  13. Richieb799 profile image79
    Richieb799posted 8 years ago

    Yeah but the word homosapien means wise in the fact that we understand alot more than a bird

    (italics) the species of bipedal primates to which modern humans belong, characterized by a brain capacity averaging 1400 cc (85 cubic in.) and by dependence upon language and the creation and utilization of complex tools.

    1. marinealways24 profile image59
      marinealways24posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      As far as having as many complexities as us, I don't think any animal known comes close. This doesn't mean that other animals can't know how to do specific things better than we do. I think the reason for the gap is our speaking and language along with being able to transfer so much information over the generations. Many animals through experiment show the same brain regions light up in the same areas as humans when given the same stimulus. I think we have a higher level of consciousness and awareness than all other animals, but I don't know why when there are many animals that have been around longer than us.

      1. Obscurely Diverse profile image56
        Obscurely Diverseposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I've pondered before and wondered this:  Do Whales & Dophins have a better form of communication through sonic signals & echolocation?  It is obvious that we do not have the best assets on the planet; other animals prove otherwise.  Reminder:  Is your vision as good as an Eagle's?

        1. marinealways24 profile image59
          marinealways24posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Maybe we once had these abilities also, just that they got switched off in our evolution for other traits that we have.

  14. Obscurely Diverse profile image56
    Obscurely Diverseposted 8 years ago

    Dolphins, Whales, Elephants, and many more - show awareness of their own consciousness.  This question is semi-asinine...  smile

    1. Shadesbreath profile image83
      Shadesbreathposted 8 years agoin reply to this



      Really?  "Semi-asinine?"  How so?  Would you care to define the nature of being aware of one's consciousness as opposed to say, simply being aware of awareness? Or even of just being alert? 

      One might just be sensation, pure and raw.

      One is a matter of being awake and thinking, recognizing others, recognizing patterns, etc. (Is there a difference between thinking and instinct based behavior?  Where is the dividing line?  Who gets to decide that? You?)

      One is an awareness of being aware, of an introspective cognition that you exist as a being and have a place in the world that relates to others and to physical things.

      A level on top of that would be as it relates not only to physical but to spiritual or intellectual beings.

      I've even read arguments that our so called "intellect" is not really intellect, but an unfinished instinct being formed.  We call it "free will" or "awareness and choice" etc., but in fact, it is an imperfect mechanism by which we get ourselves in as many problems as we get out of... perhaps more if you believe that we are working towards the destruction of the planet with technology. Animals don't do that.

      Our instinct hasn't completed itself and we don't balance in nature... maybe we are the imperfect ones, our imperfect instinct, our unfinished and incomplete programming, our hardwired lack of certainty of what to do (for that is what an instinct is) gives us the illusion of awareness, but in reality, it may be the weakness that will ultimately destroy us.  Even locusts know when it's time to burrow underground and wait for the devastation they wrought to recover.

      I think to call the question asinine is, well... it's a statement that could use a mirror.

      1. Obscurely Diverse profile image56
        Obscurely Diverseposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Do other animals know they are conscious?  That is semi-asinine considering the truth that they are aware. 
        As for your other hogwash, I'd be glad to answer anything you want to ask about what I think, but try to at least construct your questions in a simpler fashion without reflecting your own confusion in the process.

      2. Obscurely Diverse profile image56
        Obscurely Diverseposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Damn, I've just re-read your comment:  You're not very bright, are you?

        1. Shadesbreath profile image83
          Shadesbreathposted 8 years agoin reply to this



          Alas, no.  Fortunately we have the blinding luminosity of your stupendous wit to illuminate us.

          1. Obscurely Diverse profile image56
            Obscurely Diverseposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks; big_smile

  15. AEvans profile image77
    AEvansposted 8 years ago

    Our dogs love looking in the mirror and they even pose for pics! I believe animals are conscious we have Cockers that appear to be very human and they can feel emotion or sickness it is strange but true. smile

  16. marinealways24 profile image59
    marinealways24posted 8 years ago

    Could a lizard change it's color to blend with the environment if it had no conscious awareness of it's or the environments color? If it didn't recognize what color it was, how would it know it didn't pick the wrong color?

 
working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)