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I bark, therefore I am: The question of rational animals
Many individuals look at their dog or cat and wonder what the furry little creatures are thinking or question the reasoning behind a particular action.Here is encountered a very large debate in the philosophical and psychological world.Are certain animals, other than humans, rational creatures?Of course, there are people who sit on both sides of the fence on the rationality issue.Donald Davidson, author of “Rational Animals”, proposes that no other creature on the face of the earth has the ability to rationalize, besides the human.Mr. Davidson derives a particular formula for proving, in his mind, that his hypotheses are correct.I, however, differ with Davidson's views and even question his logic at points.Throughout the course of my essay, I will describe Davidson's progression of thought as well as confirm his theory unworkable.By proving against Davidson's theory, I hope to undoubtedly show that there are, in fact, certain rational higher-level animals.
Donald Davidson attempts to beat down any arguments for animal rationality in his essay, “Rational Animals”.Davidson does do a relatively good job of convincing the reader of his notions.By proposing a progression of four interlocked steps, which condenses to only two later in the essay, Davidson hopes to dissolve any doubt that animals do not have rational minds.
First, Davidson proposes that animals do not have a network of beliefs.Both Davidson and I agree on our definition of what a belief is.A belief is the knowledge of a certain idea, object, or concept.In regard to describing the term “network of beliefs”, a quotation from Davidson's essay works the best: “One belief demands many beliefs, and beliefs demand other basic attitudes such as intentions, desires, . . . ” (Davidson, 473).Therefore a network of beliefs is one or many deeper beliefs about a particular belie…

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