A Human wrote:
Rats (appear to be) missing something that metacognition requires, a Digital NOT.
To think ABOUT requires a language system that has a true/false (digital) NOT.
Us humans, having a system as part of our neurology are able to construct X causes Y which means Z (NOT something else)
So, from my viewpoint, a belief is talk ABOUT X causes Y which means Z. If it's just X causes Y then we're talking about stimulus-response, not belief.
(i do value highly what you are communicating, this is about exchange of ideas for me, not competition)
Indeed! Rats are
most certainly missing something that metacognition requires... language replete with the ability to recognize and isolate(name) one's own mental ongoings("emotions", "thought", "belief", "attitudes", "states of mind", etc.). I'm not sure what "a digital NOT" has to do with anything at all aside from it's being an element of the framework you're putting to use. Seems an unnecessarily complex additive that offers no additional clarity.
It simply does not follow from the fact that humans are able to construct "X causes Y which means Z" that that particular construct is necessary and/or sufficient for all
thought/belief. To quite the contrary, it cannot
be. The reason for that was hinted at, but now needs to be made clear. The form consist of two separate beliefs. The first(X causes Y) doesn't require the second(which means Z). The second most certainly requires the first. You see, the second is metacognitive. It is ABOUT the first. The second is metacognition at work - it is thinking about the first.
So, the second would be entirely empty of all content without the first. It only follows that the first is prior, for the second is existentially contingent upon the first. Further, it only follows from this that the first is not
existentially contingent upon the second. Thus, whatever the first consists in/of, the second is existentially contingent upon as well.
With all this in mind...
It cannot be the case that a belief is only
talk ABOUT X causes Y which means Z, because X causes Y
constitutes being a belief AND that is the case regardless of whether or not it's followed by which means Z
. By necessity alone, prioe to being able to think that X causes Y means Z
, one must first be able to think X causes Y
. We need only to look at everyday facts/events/states of affairs to confirm that much...
One can learn that fire hurts when touched without ever thinking about meaning. One need not think about meaning in order to attribute it. I mean, that much is obvious, if one has never attributed meaning, what's there to think about? Hence, one can learn that fire hurts when touched(one can attribute meaning to the act of touching fire) without thinking in the form of X causes Y which means Z(without thinking about meaning).
If the recognition/attribution of causality counts as stimulus response, then you've a rather complex notion of what counts as being a stimulus response mechanism. A leaf can react to sun without ever attributing/recognizing causality. That counts as stimulus response. A Pitcher plant can react to an insect(or a bit of twig). That counts as stimulus response. The rat learning that pushing different levers has different results also counts as stimulus response. As does my reply. So, the task here is to further discriminate between different types of stimulus response cases.
Correct me if I have this wrong, but it seems to me that you're setting a criterion, that when met, you're further claiming that that candidate counts as being a case of belief as compared/contrasted to a case of mere
stimulus response. I'm left with the distinct idea that - on your view - the criterion for crossing over from mere stimulus response to full-blown belief requires two beliefs in succession. The latter belief must be about the meaning of the former.
Given what's been argued in this post, do you not see the untenability of that?