The Mental Homologies of Mammals. Towards an Understanding of Another Mammals World View

Animals (Basel). 2017 Nov 23;7(12):87. doi: 10.3390/ani7120087.


Mammals' mental homologies include that they look after their young, suckle and protect them; they acquire information about the world by learning. They have five types of sensory receptors and a brain to analyze the information and they feel: that is they are sentient. Mental homologies have been largely ignored by behavioural scientists since Darwin because of certain historical beliefs. This however has not been the case for people who have had to do with non-human mammals who have long recognized their mental similarities to humans. As a result, behavioural science has sponsored some inappropriate research (examples are given). The study of another mammal species epistemology, (knowledge and world view) requires a recognition of these mental homologies. The result of a 25 year multi-disciplinary study indicates that there are nine mammalian mental homologies which define mammals. These are discussed and reviewed and further mental aptitudes which logically follow from these are pointed out. A Conditional Anthropomorphic approach is proposed. By recognizing the body/mind, whole "being" homologies of mammals, we can advance in understanding other mammal species' and individual's epistemology (world view), and consequently better their welfare and enrich our own lives.

Keywords: animal cognition; animal epistemology; conditional anthropomorphism; theory of mind.