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Only other known animals to laugh are chimps

  1. Mar 8, 2006 #1

    wolram

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    Some thing the human race seems sadly laking of late, is this action understood ? i think the only other known animals to laugh are chimps, so is the abillity to laugh a higher brain function ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2006 #2
    Hi Wolram, I'm sure my dogs used to laugh full of joy. But the facial expression is slightly different
     
  4. Mar 8, 2006 #3

    Lisa!

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  5. Mar 8, 2006 #4

    wolram

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    Yes, like rub my belly and i will cover you in slobber, he, he, how can you not
    attribute some intelligence to them?
     
  6. Mar 8, 2006 #5

    wolram

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    The question is (what makes a Lisa laugh) is it some thing that is learnt or
    some thing natural.
     
  7. Mar 8, 2006 #6

    Lisa!

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    I was refering to Andre post! You said chimps are the only animals who laugh and he gave you another exampe of animals that laugh!
    I know what the question is. Don't worry!:smile:
     
  8. Mar 9, 2006 #7
    Don't forget the hyena. :rofl:
     
  9. Mar 9, 2006 #8
    This is interesting, it reminds me of something the philosopher Wittgenstein once said: "If a lion could speak, we would not understand him." That is, meaning, thinking, concepts and understanding depends on one's environment, emotions, brain structure, evolution, sensory capacities, etc... Lets say a dog wags it tail, we say that it's happy. What does that even mean? It's practically impossible to determine. Is it even "happy" in the human sense? How does the dog percieve happiness assuming it perceives in the first place, percieves happiness as WE know it and is even CAPABLE of happniess as humans know it?

    The problem is that we anthropomorphize everything; it affects our observations of animals in the field, and sentimental emotions govern our treatment of them in the home. It's impossible not to inject some human element. Do dogs smile, and do chimps cry in the "human" sense? Probably not. We would literally not understand the dog or chimp (because he would refer to things in a world we don't come from) and we would also suffer from a more of a metaphysical incomprehension (the chimp or dog's consciousness would be utterly alien to us).

    It reminds me of this other experiment:

    Researchers from the United States and Brazil posed the following hypothetical: "A man goes to the supermarket once a week and buys a dead chicken. But before cooking the chicken, he has sexual intercourse with it. Is that wrong?" People in both countries said it's not OK to eat a sexed-up chicken considerably more often if they hailed from a low socioeconomic background. Cultural differences extend even to basic matters such as the meaning of language. Imagine that Gödel didn't invent Gödel's Theorem. Some guy named Schmidt did. Then to whom do we refer when we continue to use the word "Gödel"? In one experiment, researchers found that Americans tend to say, "the guy who got credit for the theorem," while Hong Kongers say, "the guy who actually came up with it."

    That's a pretty huge gulf in understanding, even though this is just between human cultures. Certain languages don't even have the verb "to be".
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2006
  10. Mar 10, 2006 #9

    wolram

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