What proof do we have to say that animal DO NOT have emotions?
Topic: Problem statement in a research study
July 24, 2019 / By James Question:
If I look at some websites (not all) they say animals do not have emotions, instead of saying they have no way to show for it, besides brain capacity. Some sites say that they do have emotions, but cannot comprehend it. I wonder what proof there is and why they say that their actions are instinctual.
MBAclaire I do research that is where this question came from, I have many websites that discuss animal ethology.
Best Answers: What proof do we have to say that animal DO NOT have emotions?
Fowke | 10 days ago
Simple, most animals do not show emotions as we humans understand. First thing, there are millions of species of animals. I see answers relating to one or two species, ie dog. These in no way are comparable to ALL species. Besides that, the dog is a human pet, for the most part, and is not a representative of wild animals.
People fail to understand that we humans give out pets an emotional status. It is called transference. You read what you think are emotions or you give your pet your emotional character. Animal behavior, the study of this is ethology, is extremely complex. Unfortunately we humans have little understanding of it. After all we have so much trouble just trying to understand ourselves and fellow humanoids.
There have been a few studies indicating some form of an emotional link in high mammals, including primates. This would seem logical. The closer an animal is to Homo sapiens the more likely that animal to have some human traits. But a lot of animal behavior has to do with survival, rank or order within the group, reproduction and competition.
Many people, including professionals, are guilty of anthropomorphism. Giving human characteristic to animals. This usually means the person simply can not relate to the animal and use terms that describe animal behavior. It can be done, it is sometimes a challenge.
In scienctific research the goal is usually to prove the existance of something. It is easy to prove something does not exist. Sometimes this process is complex. Many lay people simply do not understand. Observation skills have 2 components, natural ability and learned ability. The professional has to be able to observe and learn without bias. A real problem in behavioral studies, The human animal tends to desire to become attached to the subject. Those people attached to pets are just the wrong ones to make an qualified statements about animal behavior.
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Actually there has been some recent research into this and they believe that some animals, like elephants, dolphins, orangutans etc are capable of feeling emotions. im not sure where to find info about this though as i saw it on tv. personally i do think that there are animals that feel emotions. when u look at the behaviour of an elephant or dolphin when its calf dies how could you not? i even think smaller mammals like cats feel emotions. i do think they feel them in a different way to how we do tho. sorry if this isnt any help, turned into a bit of a rant sorry lol
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Ah, the wonders of the internet. It is now possible to spread BS faster than ever. Put down that mouse and go to the library, where you might find "Expression of the Emotions in Animals and Man" , by Charles Darwin.
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Animals DO have emotions. Many animals show clear signs of happiness, fear, excitement etc which are all counted as emotions. I have had many different types of pets and you definitely know when they are happy and when they are not. Animals can also sense emotions for example a horse will know when its rider is nervous or unconfident. My dog often comes up and puts her head on your knee when your having a bad time and will stay there for a long time. Animals use signs to show their emotions such as dogs wagging their tails to show happiness and cats hissing and sticking out their claws to show disapproval and tell you that you better watch out! Personally I think animals have emotions and sometimes show them quite clearly
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It's impossible to prove that they don't have emotions - you can only prove the existence of something, not its absence.
That said, the evidence suggests that animals do have some form of emotional response (e.g. hippos appear distressed by the death of another hippo and will stand guard over its body, and elephants show similar behaviour) but this varies greatly between species and there is no conclusive evidence that animals feel emotions the same way we do.
👍 83 | 👎 -22
Well...look at dogs for example: They show happiness everytime you come home/walkies/food time
Birds can show boredom by pulling out their neck feathers
Elephants show grief
So many examples of animals having emotions...just think of an animal and how it reacts to stimulants
👍 74 | 👎 -30
I know for a fact that all animals have emotions above the coral level. What animal do you think does not have emotions?
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I have had pets for close to 52 years. Our pets which included dogs, cats, birds, horses, snakes, mice, etc. Many of them had identifiable emotions and personalities, etc.
Research this on the Internet. I would look at .edu and .gov sites for starters.
👍 56 | 👎 -46
None, unless you consider the word of people who have never spent any time around animals and do not understand them in the slightest.
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Originally Answered: Godel proof that math is inconsistent using logic but he did not proof that logic is consistent. why?
Gödel did NOT prove that math is inconsistent. What he proved was concerned ENTIRELY with something called 'formal systems.' You can't understand what he proved unless you understand what formal systems are.
A "formal system" consists of some "axioms" (things which are accepted as true) and some "rules of inference" (ways to conclude new things based on axioms). A formal system is regarded purely as consisting of strings of characters.
A statement is said to be "provable" in the formal system if we can start with some axioms and arrive at that statement using the rules of inference.
For example, we might take the following as an axiom (something clearly true):
0 = 0
And we might take the following as a rule of inference:
"If x = x, then x + 1 = x + 1"
In this formal system, then, we can conclude:
0 = 0
0 + 1 = 0 + 1
0 + 1 + 1 = 0 + 1 + 1
and so on. We cannot conclude anything else unless we add more axioms or more rules of inference.
Two properties which formal systems can have are 'Completeness' and 'Consistency.'
'Completeness' means that, given any true statement, we can prove it using the formal system. For example, if I restrict my attention to only statements about whether positive integers are equal or not, then my formal system above is complete. I can prove that n = n for any positive integer n just by applying my rule of inference often enough.
'Consistency' means that the formal system cannot prove anything that is not true. The formal system above is clearly consistent; it's simple enough that it is obvious that the axiom and rule of inference only yields true statements.
A formal system need not have the above properties. For example, if I add the rule of inference "If x = x, then x + 1 = x," then I can prove that 0 = 1:
0 = 0 (Axiom)
0 + 1 = 0 (Second Rule of Inference)
So if I throw in this rule of inference, my formal system is not consistent (because, within the formal system, I can prove something false).
My formal system above is also not complete if I'm trying to solve all problems in number theory with it. For example, I can't prove that 3 x 5 = 15, because I have no rules of inference to deal with multiplication.
What Gödel proved is the following:
"Every sufficiently complex formal system is either incomplete or inconsistent."
What Gödel means by 'sufficiently complex' is fairly complicated to define, but arithmetic IS sufficiently complex, so in particular math certainly is.
So if we develop a purely formal description of mathematics (a formal system), one of two things will be true:
(1) We will be able to use the axioms and rules of inference to prove a statement that is not true.
(2) There will be some statement that is true that we cannot prove just using the axioms and the rules of inference.
This is a far cry from showing that math is inconsistent. It just says that we can't develop a formal system that's both complete (in that we can prove all true mathematical statements using it) and consistent (in that every true mathematical statement can be proven within it).
Gödel's result is not at all surprising in practice--it seems hard to believe that we could ever write out enough purely symbolic axioms and rules of inference to prove ALL statements that are true within mathematics. However, it's a little surprising in theory, because Gödel's result says the difficulty is not just in that there are simply too many axioms and rules of inference ro write down; the difficulty is that if we make the system sufficiently complex, then assuming it's both 'complete' and 'consistent' leads to a logical contradiction.
The essence of Gödel's proof is to develop within the formal system a statement which means "I cannot be proven within this formal system." Then, whatever we do, we're stuck; if the formal system CAN prove the statement "I cannot be proven within this formal system," then it just proved something false, because that statement IS provable; so the formal system is inconsistent. If the formal system CAN'T prove the statement "I cannot be proven within this formal system," then the statement is in fact true, but the formal system can't prove it's true, so the formal system is incomplete.
If you are interested in learning more about Gödel's Theorem from a popular science perspective, I recommend the book "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" by Douglas Hofstadter (easier reading) or "Forever Undecided" by Raymond Smullyan (considerably harder reading, but gives much closer analogies to the real thing, and explains it better than most people could).