eddie redmayne ▲ my genitals are freckle-free
I did a thing and now I can’t get up help
I miss Johnny Bravo <3
I haven’t really written much in this - story of my life, right?
Well to update:
David brought me an awesome camera for my 21st - the Nikon D5100 - an awesome piece of technology, if I do say so myself :) I’ve been excited for it for as long as David had embellished his plans to me - a choice I bet he has long since regretted.
I’m really happy though, it’s definitely put a spring in my step, a smile on my face and a swing in my hip :) I was busy taking pictures from the moment I pulled it out of its elaborately decorated box and from then on, I had feverishly called it my own. I took it to university - plans of taking pictures of my journey in the hope of some artistic whim, but alas fate was not on my side.
Damn battery crapped out on me the moment I switched it on.
I suppose I can’t complain. I had taken about two hundred pictures on the small amount of charge the battery had come with - it was my own eagerness that had me lumbering a dead camera on my way back home with no pictures to show for it.
And now I’m home, and the house is full of people. I suppose I should be happy and social, but that’s not really me, is it? I prefer the comfort of my room - my own bed even - with the outside parameter a fearful zone of people, their problems, and for some - their horrible attitudes and mannerisms.
Things are set in motion to change come the New Year, but the best one of all, is my lack of modules to attend class for. I will be doing my English Dissertation and Creative Writing Extended Project - two projects with the total sum of 18,000 words. Fun, huh?
No exams though!!! That’s a plus :)
We associate humanity with personhood, but the two concepts are not one and the same. Being a human – a homosapien – is not the same as being classified as a person, it is not a necessary condition. There are many other factors that build up “personhood” and whatever qualities that we hold to be unique to personhood – being what we consider to be the most “important” race - will be heavily linked to being human; however there are qualities that a human holds that can also be applied to non-human animals. Bringing forth the dilemma on whether a non-human animal can be a “person”.
Non-human animals do not have language; therefore they do not have concepts of things or complex thoughts. Noam Chomsky argued that language itself is a uniquely human trait, and is not possessed by any other animal that we know of. He makes a clear distinction between communication and language, stating that in order to achieve communication one only needs a set variety of sounds or “words”, whereas to achieve language, one must have a concept of grammar. For example, the call of a dog in distress may communicate with the other dogs and warn them of danger or a call for help, but the amount of noises or “barks” that a dog can make is limited. Even more limited is the understanding behind that call or “bark” if the fellow dogs have never heard it before, and they often respond to it instinctively. Humans on the other hand can use language and grammar to create a variety of ideas in the listener, and neither the speaker nor the listener is limited, for language is infinite. By use of grammar, a human can understand sentences that s/he has never heard of before, and that is the difference between language and grammar. Also, because language is infinite, if one has the ability to use language, then one has the capability of complex thoughts and concepts. For example, if a human heard the door opening, then their first thought will be “the door”, their second thought would be “It is opening,” and upon building complexity on their thoughts, their third thought would be “Someone is coming in” whereas an animal without language, without concept, would only associate actions with what currently affects them. For example, a dog may see the door opening, but the concept that “someone is coming in” will not register with them until they physically see the person.
Others argue that animals such as Washoe the chimpanzee, having the capability to make sounds do have the capacity to learn language, and Washoe demonstrated this by learning 250 signs in sign language. She even attempted to use the signs by combining them in a new way, and tried to teach her son. This suggests that animals do have the capacity to learn language and by Washoe being able to combine different signs together showed that she understood the concepts behind it.
However, the scientists could not reproduce this experiment with other chimpanzees, which could suggest that although chimpanzees did not yet have language, Washoe was proving that they had the potential to have language. But, Washoe only learnt 250 signs, and it is not evident that she could produce her own signs for concepts that she understood but had not been taught, suggesting that the concepts that she already knew had been a taught factor, a memorising factor. This implies that animals such as Washoe do not have language.
The existence of a soul can however classify non-human animals as persons. For example, some religions that support reincarnation (such as Hinduism, Wicca) believe that the “soul” of a person can live different lives. For example, a person might be reincarnated as an animal. The question is, can one soul be a person in one life and not a person in another life? This is a question that debates whether a soul is necessary to being a person, or whether it is an irrelevant factor, because if all souls are persons, then according to reincarnation, all animals are persons as they can share the same souls.
However, most monotheist religions state that having a soul is unique only to that of a human being, which, if a soul is relevant to being a person, would imply that non-human animals are indeed not persons.
P.E Strawson believed that the concept of a “person” is logically primitive and that the mental and physical states are jointly essential in order to be a “person”. It is a fundamental belief, and one that is shared by all “persons”, otherwise the organism would have no concept of self-awareness or of its individuality. For example, you could not ascribe states to a consciousness if it has no physical body to identify it, and that to extend on that, the “person” in question should be able to recognise the concepts of the emotions or desires that it feels (in other words, to be aware that it is an individual). An animal such as a dog, although having a physical and mental state, does not have the concept of “personhood” or of its own individuality. They will bark at a mirror because they believe another dog is imposing on their territory, as they do not recognise themselves.
On the other hand, there are animals such as the Asian Elephant that can recognise itself in the mirror, however these animals – although appearing to have some sense of awareness – do not seem to be naturally self aware. They do not demonstrate self awareness in other situations, and only in the presence of mirrors.
In conclusion, animals, although having the potential to become “persons” should they evolve to a point where they are self aware and have a concept of language, are not “persons” as of yet. They do not understand concepts around them, have no ability to build complex thoughts or reason, and they have no self awareness.
My kitten keeps me company whilst I study <3
Dave McKean gave me my birthday card two days early. He drew it himself…
Kinda defeats the purpose of having an ipod, no?