A Human wrote:
creativesoul wrote:Yeah, I took note of the strong claim you've made regarding all belief 'following' such a construct. I find it lacking. I would disagree that all belief is of that form. Some... sure. All... nope. As a matter of fact, the form requires two distinct beliefs. X causes Y is itself a belief. X causes Y which means Z, is two separate but interconnected ones.
The difference regards awareness of beliefs and the ability to examine them and consider.
Consider this...you can teach a rat that pressing on a lever (X) causes food(Y) to be provided.
The rat can 'understand X causes Y', it has no meaning that we can detect.
Us humans add another layer to this. We generate 'Z', thinking about what happened, 'we got food' for example.
Here is a distinction.....does the rat have a BELIEVE process where it thinks ABOUT X causes Y or does it just respond to the X causes Y scenario?
Good question. Yes, rats have thought/belief, albeit rudimentary. No, rats do not think about X causes Y because that is to think about thought/belief, which is metacognition. Rats have no metacognitive ability/tools.
I would disagree that the rat has no meaning that we can detect. In fact, if the rat intentionally presses the lever in order to get fed, then it has drawn a correlation, association, and/or connection between it's own behaviour and getting fed. That association requires the attribution/recognition of causality, which in turn requires future expectations... damned be Hume's purported 'problem' of induction. Rats think/believe. With the sheer number of domesticated rats around the world, I would be willing to bet that they could be taught that getting food follows a certain sound. That is, they could be taught that a certain sound means getting fed. I would go on to say that that would be verifiable on many levels, including but not limited to their holding future expectation upon hearing the sound. I know my cats do. Rats? Dunno, but I 'hear' their fairly intelligent for a little creature as well.
It was mentioned above, but deserves further explanation. It seems to me that when talking about belief, and being aware of one's own belief, if we do not draw and maintain the crucial distinction between cognition and metacognition(between thought/belief and thinking about thought/belief) we're doomed to an ill-conceived understanding. Rats do not have written language. Written language is required for metacognition. Rats do not have metacognition. Thus, rats cannot be aware of and/or think about their own thought/belief - nor can cats.