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Method of Cognition and Animals

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Ayn Rand said in ITOR in regards to concepts

“The ability to regard entities as units is mans distinctive method of cognition”

Isn’t this what a gazelle is doing when it only gets afraid of the Lion that is nearby and not the elephant or the ground hog? Isn’t it separating in its mind somehow the difference between the group lions? Isn’t it distinguishing particulars amongst the animal existents?

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I think the gazelle is associating its present perceptual awareness with a stored memory of a past lion encounter. This association then triggers learned behaviors, namely focused attention and possibly flight, if the lion gets too close. 

Edited by MisterSwig

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7 hours ago, Veritas said:

Ayn Rand said in ITOR in regards to concepts

“The ability to regard entities as units is mans distinctive method of cognition”

Or when a dog returns to its food dish, it does not need to learn all over again that what is in the dish is food.

"Distinctive" is the key adjective there.  Man's distinctive method of cognition is used and abused on every aspect of his life (not just food and fear) and is also his chief means of survival.  

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