6
   

What do you think cats understand about subjects like physics and psychology?

 
 
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2014 04:17 pm
If you put a treat on a moving pendulum, I'd think most cats could grab the treat without being whacked by the pendulum. Thus they must have a pretty good understanding of physics, don't you think?
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2014 04:25 pm
@Banana Breath,
My dog, Toby, will find the bag and take all the treats. It's a motivation thing
0 Replies
 
Lordyaswas
 
  4  
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2014 04:37 pm
@Banana Breath,
My cat wouldn't lower herself.

She would meow the bloody house down until I stopped the pendulum for her, and then presented the treat on a velvet cushion.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2014 05:03 pm
@Banana Breath,
Google will reveal Katz in several physics and psychology departments.
0 Replies
 
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2014 06:12 pm
@Lordyaswas,
Quote:
My cat wouldn't lower herself. She would meow the bloody house down until I stopped the pendulum for her, and then presented the treat on a velvet cushion.

That indicates a good understanding of human psychology.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2014 06:14 pm
Curiosity, however, might kill the cat . . .

http://winnipegskeptics.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/funny-pictures-physicist-cat-tries-to-understand-string-theory.jpg
0 Replies
 
Banana Breath
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 12:41 am
http://i59.tinypic.com/2lmt6vd.jpg
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 11:10 am
Not too sure about the extent of his physics knowledge, but my cat sure has this psychology stuff licked.

I appear to have been trained without too much angst, but I've been far less successful in training him. Embarrassed Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 11:38 am
@Banana Breath,
Cat's have as good an understanding of physics as you do, Banana Breath.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 12:06 pm
I asked one of our two cats, Napoleon, about this.



http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk17/frankapisa/Cabot%20and%20Napoleon/100_2380_zpsa81dbd42.jpg



I'm sure he will get back to me at some point.
0 Replies
 
Banana Breath
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 12:37 pm
Time to run some experiments.

0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 12:38 pm
@Banana Breath,
No, Ban, I don't. Obviously it's only an evolutionary sort of thing, reasoning unnecessary
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 01:11 pm
@dalehileman,
Quote:
Obviously it's only an evolutionary sort of thing, reasoning unnecessary

I believe that innate knowledge is still knowledge. And further, I don't think that reasoning need come into play; knowledge is usually a substitute for reasoning. For example, which is bigger, a mouse or an elephant? We could use reasoning abilities and set out on a mission to find and measure both an elephant and a mouse and compare their measurements, or we could rely on knowledge; we KNOW the elephant is bigger.
Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 01:17 pm
I would say they possess the same kind of nonverbal understanding of bodies in motion that our best athletes do. It's incredible how little difference there is between a completed pass and an interception in the NFL.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 02:22 pm
@Banana Breath,
Quote:
...a pretty good understanding of physics, don't you think?…..I believe that innate knowledge is still knowledge
No Ban I can't agree at all, unless we redefine a number of common terms. Dogs don't understand physics and reflex isn't a form of knowledge
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 04:55 pm
@dalehileman,
Quote:
Dogs don't understand physics and reflex isn't a form of knowledge

It's not a matter of redfining common terms, but you'll have to do some reading on the subject in order to meaningfully participate in discussions on the topic. You can start with Plato's Meno and the topic of Innatism. Read from there through Steve Pinker's writing on evolutionary psychology. Come back when you're done.

Quote:
In his Meno, Plato raises an important epistemological quandary: How is it that we have certain ideas which are not conclusively derivable from our environments? Noam Chomsky has taken this problem as a philosophical framework for the scientific enquiry into innatism. His linguistic theory, which derives from 18th century classical-liberal thinkers such as Wilhelm von Humboldt, attempts to explain in cognitive terms how we can develop knowledge of systems which are said, by supporters of innatism, to be too rich and complex to be derived from our environment. One such example is our linguistic faculty. Our linguistic systems contain a systemic complexity which supposedly could not be empirically derived: the environment seems too poor, variable and indeterminate, according to Chomsky, to explain the extraordinary ability to learn complex concepts possessed by very young children. It follows that humans must be born with a universal innate grammar, which is determinate and has a highly organized directive component, and enables the language learner to ascertain and categorize language heard into a system. Noam Chomsky cites as evidence for this theory the apparent invariability, according to his views, of human languages at a fundamental level. In this way, linguistics may provide a window into the human mind, and establish scientific theories of innateness which otherwise would remain merely speculative.

One implication of Noam Chomsky's innatism, if correct, is that at least a part of human knowledge consists in cognitive predispositions, which are triggered and developed by the environment, but not determined by it. Parallels can then be drawn, on a purely speculative level, between our moral faculties and language, as has been done by sociobiologists such as E. O. Wilson and evolutionary psychologists such as Steven Pinker. The relative consistency of fundamental notions of morality across cultures seems to produce convincing evidence for these theories. In psychology, notions of archetypes such as those developed by Carl Jung, suggest determinate identity perceptions.
-Wikipedia

dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2014 05:17 pm
@Banana Breath,
Quote:
Come back when you're done
I see Ban that the terms are used in the philo context differently than everyday
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2014 10:12 am
@Banana Breath,
Ban I read your quote and appreciate what Plato is trying to say but still can't entertain the idea of the dog understanding physics
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2014 02:30 pm
@dalehileman,
The question is about cats, I know cats, and your dog is no cat.
dalehileman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2014 11:27 am
@Banana Breath,
Quote:
...your dog is no cat
No kidding, Ban

Sorry Ban, couldn't resist

Do have 3 cats however; so will interrogate 'em

0 Replies
 
 

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