Back to David's theory of evolution of abstract thought (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, July 20, 2020, 17:26 (26 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Monday, July 20, 2020, 17:31

dhw: You wrote that this observation involves “the same degree of conceptual thought that we use”. If you see one event repeatedly following another, you do not have to be an Einstein to figure out that the first event causes the second event.

DAVID: This proves you do not understand the difference between abstract and concrete reasoning.

dhw: By “concrete thinking” I mean thinking about existing objects such as leaves and flowers and food. By “abstract thinking” I mean thinking about things that are not materially present – ideas, the meaning of things rather than the things themselves. I would say an inventor thinks concretely and a philosopher thinks abstractly. Please explain what you mean by the two terms.

I disagree. Inventors and philosophers both use analytic abstract thought. The inventor differs in that his observations are concrete as to how units work, but the new invention requires an analysis of what is needed and how to put units together in a new construct to achieve the goal. The analysis of leaves and later flowering requires the concept of connectedness, and that is abstract analytic thought.


dhw: Using your criteria, I would then suggest that bees are capable of rudimentary conceptual thought. But personally, I would regard it as concrete thought: "When I did (a), (b) happened. Let's see if it happens again." I remain surprised that you should think this strategy is so complex and so necessary for life to go on that your God decided to teach it to this one species of bee.

DAVID: This proves you do not understand the difference between abstract and concrete thinking. The connections requires correlation, an abstraction. Remainder of this discussion deleted as your making the same unreasonable invention of bee complex thought. The bee is not you.

dhw: I agree that the connections require correlation. And I have agreed that if that constitutes “abstract thinking” by your definition of it, then OK, the bee is “capable of rudimentary conceptual thought”. You have deleted your claim that the bee “uses the same degree of conceptual thought that we use”. Do you stand by that statement? The article defined abstract thinking as “thinking in terms of universals”. Do you regard a connection between a bitten leaf and the plant flowering as “thinking in terms of universals”?

I don't believe the bold is something I wrote, or I missed correcting a misprint. Bees do not think conceptually is my strict point. I accept the 'universals' statement. It is 'not OK' to grant bees any smidgen of abstract conceptual thought.


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