By Stephen Walker
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458). Second, a chapter of the Origin is devoted to ‘Instinct’, a term which Darwin used synonymously with ‘mental powers’, ‘mental qualities’, or ‘mental actions’. 263). This last is perhaps the briefest encapsulation of the theory of evolution given by Darwin, and it is in some ways not very representative of the more general argument. The facts which Darwin wished to explain were not enormously different from those known to Aristotle, and certainly not at variance with those collected by Buffon.
90). It was clear that all domestic breeds were descended from the same ancestor, the Indian rock-pigeon (Columba livia). But according to Darwin, the established varieties such as the English carrier, the short-faced tumbler, the pouter and the fan-tail, were ‘so different in form and habit that an ornithologist judging them as wild birds would probably not even put them in the same genus, and as wild birds the domestic varieties would certainly be counted as separate species. If deliberate selection by the intervention of human agency could bring about such changes in the humble rock- pigeon, in so short a time compared with the new geological scales, why could not a similar process account for gradual changes which result in the origin of new natural species?
We must absolutely deny this insight to men’ (1914, pp. 312—13). It is therefore not surprising that Kant himself spent little time on the details of animal behaviour. However in a footnote to Appendix 90 of the Critique of Judgement, Kant lets slip the conclusion that Descartes was wrong to say that animals are machines. This comes in the course of a discussion of ‘Analogy’ with the example of the construction of dams and nests by beavers, one which may have suggested itself to Kant because of his interest in the inner purposes of rivers.
Animal Thought by Stephen Walker