Can we tell if something has a mind?

I am not sure how you would concretely say something has a mind like you can say there is a brain. What about plants and animals do they have a mind of their own or is mind only available in human.

What is mind after all?  According to Wikipedia, there is no universally agreed definition of mind but the mind is the faculty of a human being’s reasoning and thoughts. It holds the power of imagination, recognition, and appreciation, and is responsible for processing feelings and emotions, resulting in attitudes and actions.

Does this mean that a mind can only exist in human? It is subjective and therefore it is very difficult to say hand on heart that something has a mind. Take for example our pets and if you ask any pet owners if their pets have a mind and the answer majority of the time would be yes. How can we dispute that whether our pets have a mind of their own or not as it is based on experiential observation which is very much subjective in itself?

This is the experience I have had with my dogs which could only be described as having a mind of its own. I have seen them get really upset when a member of a family is missing and they look out for them constantly. They even recognize the sound of our car as I know this from general observation. We live by the roadside and they don’t bat an eyelid for any cars but as soon as they hear our car they get up and run around, scratching the door and whimpering with excitement. Also if they have somehow misbehaved by stealing food or have refused to follow the instructions you can tell they know we are not pleased from their mannerism and body language. How can you explain this if it is not a mind they have.

zef and hollyWe have these barkless dogs, type of breed which we have had all our lives and the only sound they make is the yodeling noise when they are happy. So whenever we go away they appear to be really sad with their tail down and refuse to eat and sometimes we even see tears on their little wrinkly face. When they are excited it is an unbelievable scene of joy as they yodel their heads off. I have come to believe from these general observations that they really do have a mind of their own, at least in dogs.

What do you think?


About TYW

I am Tenzin from Devon in England but I am originally from Bhutan. It is a small country in the Himalayas. Famously known as the Land of Gross National Happiness. Tashi Delek!
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