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3/13/2018 6:13 pm  #11

Re: Rational Animals

Greg wrote:

To add a bit more, I think it is (to put it this way again) generous to say that he is asking what things are and "generalizing" color and shape. As Pepperberg says in the video, distinguishing colors and telling when two berries look the similar enough is something lots of animals do, quite competently. I once read that cats regard their owners as big cats. I don't know whether that is true. But clearly lots of animals can distinguish different types of food, different types of foe, perhaps human beings if they live around them, trees, water, etc. Over and above other things, Alex has names for some of those and other things, and he has been taught to ask for names. But there is a difference between knowing what something is called and knowing what something is.

If that's the case, then I guess this means that his seemingly amazing understanding of  "same" and  "different"  is exactly that, seemingly amazing. This then also applies to him associating number signs with numerical quantities,  as well as all of the other behaviours, both the equally impressive feats and the less impressive ones.

Greg wrote:

As for syntactic manipulation, if you think that suffices for intellect then you ought to be far more worried about computers than parrots.

I agree.

Anyways, thank you for helping out with regards to this issue! It's appreciated!


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