Can we really know what animals are thinking?


TNW
sapiens’
T. W. Wood
Wellcome
TNW2020
Harvard
New York Times
Trump’s
The Conversation
Department of Philosophy
York University
Creative Commons
Apple
AR


Syndication Sarah
Charles Darwin’s
Quine
Schnee ist weiss
Milch ist weiss
Schnee ist nicht weiss
Paintings
Lisa del Giocondo
Leonardo da Vinci’s
Mona Lisa
Jacob Beck
Boris


German

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Manhattan
Canada

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Positivity     39.00%   
   Negativity   61.00%
The New York Times
SOURCE: https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2019/11/11/human-language-stops-us-from-understanding-how-animals-think/
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Summary

But Quine also noted that radical translation was constrained by the structure of language.Quine imagined a foreign language completely unrelated to any human language, but here, I’ll use German for illustration. You can make an educated guess about what “Schnee ist weiss” means.This suggests a general lesson: insofar as we can translate the sentences of one language into the sentences of another, that is largely because we can translate the words of one language into the words of another.But now imagine a language with a structure fundamentally unlike that of any human language. We wouldn’t know what its sentences mean.The thoughts of animals are like the sentences of an unfamiliar language. As a result, there are no elements in the thoughts of animals that match our words and so there is no precise way to translate their thoughts into our sentences.An analogy can make this argument more concrete.What is the correct translation of the Mona Lisa? So if Quine is right that any halfway decent translation requires matching words to words, we shouldn’t expect paintings to translate into sentences.But does the Mona Lisa really resist translation? So the micro description doesn’t yield a translation.My suggestion, then, is that trying to characterize animal thought is like trying to describe the Mona Lisa.

As said here by The Conversation