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Do Dogs Have Feelings?

November 20, 2014

People have been wondering if dogs have emotions for thousands of years.

 

 

Philosophers have debated the subject, lining up on different sides. Most of us who have dogs agree that dogs have feelings. Aristotle believed that animals were without reason but believed that they did have sensations-- they could feel if you cut them or hurt them. But as far as having human-type emotions? No. Likewise Plato and St. Augustine believed that animals did not have human-type emotions.

 

You should be aware that in classical times what we call the emotions today were not very highly thought of. Passions were considered suspect in people. To give in to one's emotions was a bad thing. Therefore, for a person to display emotions was undesirable. Being emotional was a bad thing. It certainly wasn't something that philosophers would want humans to have in common with animals. Animals were held in generally low esteem. They were beasts. In classical times the dog was considered noble, loyal and faithful but he was still a dog -- an animal.

 

There was not the least effort to endow him with human qualities such as emotions. Instead, dogs were admired for their achievements as dogs: how well they guarded the house; how well they hunted; how well they tended flocks of sheep, etc. The utmost praise for a dog among classical writers comes from, perhaps, Homer, who describes Odysseus' old dog Argus who would not die for 20 years until he saw his master safely return home. He was the only one who recognized Odysseus, an old man and in disguise, when he finally returned from the Trojan War. The old dog saw his master, let out a whimper, wagged his tail and died on the spot. He was considered a great dog.

 

The philosopher Descartes denied that animals had feelings, but then he was hard-pressed to prove that he himself existed.

 

John Locke argued that animals do have feelings.

 

Rousseau argued that animals are sentient beings, so therefore would have feelings.

 

Bentham seemed to argue that animals can suffer, so they must have feelings.

 

Schopenhauer believed that animals had feelings.

 

Do our dogs have feelings? Dogs have not changed from Aristotle or Homer's time yet our ideas about emotions and feelings have. Today we honor feelings more and we look to find them in our dogs. We are pleased when we believe we see evidence that our dogs love us. Perhaps we encourage our dogs to show more emotions. We may raise dogs to be more affectionate with us. Dogs today seem to show happiness, sadness, affection and many other feelings that humans have. A mother seems to care for her pups in the same way that human mothers care for their children. But are they the same feelings that people feel? We may have no way of knowing if they are the same feelings. They are the dog version of these feelings.

 

 

Philosophers have discussed the topic, arranging on different ends. Most of us who have pets believe the fact that pets have feelings. Aristotle regarded that creatures were without purpose but regarded that they did have sensations-- they could experience if you cut them or harm them. But as far as having human-type emotions? No. Furthermore Plato and St. Augustine regarded that creatures did not have human-type feelings.

 

You should bear in mind that in traditional periods what we contact the feelings nowadays were not very extremely believed of. Interests were regarded suspicious in individuals. To provide in to one's feelings was a bad factor. Therefore, for a individual to show feelings was unwanted. Being psychological was a bad factor. It certainly was not something that philosophers would want individuals to have in typical with creatures. Animals were organised in usually low confidence. They were monsters. In traditional periods the dog was regarded respectable, trustworthy and trustworthy but he was still a dog -- an creature.

 

There was not the least attempt to endow him with individual features such as feelings. Instead, pets were popular for their success as dogs: how well they protected the house; how well they hunted; how well they maintained flocks of lambs, etc. The highest compliment for a dog among traditional authors comes from, perhaps, Homer, who explains Odysseus' old dog Argus who would not die for 20 decades until he saw his expert securely go back house. He was the only one who identified Odysseus, an old man and in cover, when he lastly came back from the Virus War. The old dog saw his expert, let out a whimper, wagged his end and passed away on the identify. He was regarded an excellent dog.

 

The thinker Descartes declined that creatures had feelings, but then he was hard-pressed to confirm that he himself persisted.

 

John Locke suggested that creatures do have feelings.

 

Rousseau suggested that creatures are sentient people, so therefore would have feelings.

 

Bentham seemed to claim that creatures can experience, so they must have feelings.

 

Schopenhauer regarded that creatures had feelings.

 

Do our pets have feelings? Dogs have not modified from Aristotle or Homer's time yet our concepts about feelings and feelings have. Today we respect feelings more and we look to discover them in our pets. We are satisfied when we believe we see proof that our pets really like us. Perhaps we motivate our pets to demonstrate more feelings. We may increase pets to be more passionate with us. Dogs nowadays seem to demonstrate pleasure, unhappiness, passion and many other feelings that individuals have. A mom seems to proper take proper her dogs in the same way that individual moms proper take proper their kids. But are they the same feelings that individuals feel? We may have no way of understanding if they are the same feelings. They are the dog edition of these feelings.

 

We don't know if a dog's feelings are as complicated or as wealthy as a individual's feelings. We don't know if their feelings are as extreme, or more extreme or less. Do they have emotions? The response seems to be a certain yes. But whether those feelings are the same as the feelings that a individual has may be unknowable.

 

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