you're not sure, paul? is that a bad thing? uncertainty is far from speciousness.

at base, we should not be sure that anyone has a rich inner life. this uncertainty should not stop us from entertaining the possibility.

i have a reasonable degree of confidence in the scientific method. some philisophical arguments seem logical. the sum total of the investigations that i have made, while living and interrogating my own rich inner life, is that others are probably as complex as me, more or less.

we like to believe that humans are special. humans once thought that we were the only ones who used tools - nope. burials - nope. culture - nope. there are no firm boundaries between humans and non-humans; natural selection just acted upon us differently, due to different conditions.
I doubt Paul Constant has an inner life and is just an semi-ambulatory meat machine, as evidenced by scientific observation.
I think that the animals that are closest to us, dogs and cats mostly, do have something that could be termed an ‘inner life’. It’s in their best interests to be as closely attuned to us and our ways as possible, so, over the millennia, their little craniums would have expanded to hold all that human-related data and that, in turn, would have fostered a ‘thinking’ sort of mental environment, etc etc…

All I know is, my cats do definitely have an inner life. I can see it in their eyes and I can hear it when they tell their little catty jokes…
More intelligent animals are more self-aware. I am absolutely convinced, for example, that chimps have an inner life much like our own. The belief that animals simply "don't think" is quite outmoded.

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