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Animals and Unit Identification

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How can we be certain to any level that an animal can not identify units? Is this just an underlying assumption or has there been a test run to verify this claim? I am asking because I am reading OPAR and Leonard Peikoff mention this with a pretty good level of certainty.  Just curious about the justification.

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Animals don't have language and so cannot have concepts.  Without concepts they cannot regard instances of the concept as units.  

What animals do have is abilities of pattern recognition and memory and patterned behavior and those do a pretty good job together of doing everything  a conceptual capacity would do with respect to (for example) a mammalian predator taking a go at stalking a new type of prey it hadn't encountered before.  So those mammals would not benefit from a conceptual capacity so evolution has not rewarded selection for it.  Humans can operate at that level: Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink is about pre-conceptual pattern recognition and I am specifically referring the examples there of "antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance" long before they can articulate what exactly is wrong with the fake.

 

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On 12/13/2018 at 5:41 PM, Grames said:

Animals don't have language and so cannot have concepts.  Without concepts they cannot regard instances of the concept as units.  

What animals do have is abilities of pattern recognition and memory and patterned behavior and those do a pretty good job together of doing everything  a conceptual capacity would do with respect to (for example) a mammalian predator taking a go at stalking a new type of prey it hadn't encountered before.  So those mammals would not benefit from a conceptual capacity so evolution has not rewarded selection for it.  Humans can operate at that level: Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink is about pre-conceptual pattern recognition and I am specifically referring the examples there of "antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance" long before they can articulate what exactly is wrong with the fake.

 

I am not making the connection between they don't have language to they cannot have concepts. Is not language the way that you are referring to it strictly human?

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23 hours ago, Veritas said:

I am not making the connection between they don't have language to they cannot have concepts. Is not language the way that you are referring to it strictly human?

Recall that a concept is not just the judgment that these things are similar in some way, compared to those things. It also crucially involves assigning that identification to a mental symbol, a “single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts”. And “This is the function performed by language. Language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes. Language is the exclusive domain and tool of concepts”. See page 10 of ITOE

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