The Instigator
InVinoVeritas
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Blob
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

Dogs can have a sense of self-identity

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Blob
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/24/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,894 times Debate No: 22290
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

InVinoVeritas

Con

Dogs [1] can have a sense of self-identity [2].

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

I am Con. The opponent is Pro. And the first round is for acceptance.

Thanks.
Blob

Pro

I accept.


Good luck...


PS: I apologise to you, Con, for my past antics.


Debate Round No. 1
InVinoVeritas

Con

Based on observations of canine behavior, their reaction to human commands are based on classical conditioning, centered around stimulus and response. Classical conditioning is a well-established psychological concept [1], and the experiment involving Pavlov's dog is a strong (and relevant) example of this. [2]

"Sparky! Sparky!" you yell, and the dog looks at you and comes to you. If it understands that you are calling it, it must have a self-identity... Right? No. A dog does not have a conceptual understanding of a name or identity, in general. How do we test this? Switch the "Sparky" with "Sit" commands through a reverse reward system. When you yell "Sparky," only reward it (i.e. petting and feeding) when it sits. When you yell "Sit," reward it when it runs over and approaches you (and is standing, as opposed to what it did before in response to the "Sit" command.) The result will be a complete reversal of command functions, indicating command responses do not indicate a concept of self-identity.

Moreover, there is no evidence whatsoever that canines have an ability to conceptualize, let alone implement the abstract concept of self-identity.

Thank you, and I look forward to my opponent's arguments.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Blob

Pro

Con’s has presented two arguments thus far:


1. That command responses do not indicate a concept of self-identity in dogs.

I do not intend to disagree. However, this is of no consequence, since the argument does not show that dogs cannot have a sense of self-identity.



2. That there is no evidence whatsoever that canines have a sense of self-identity.

This hardly constitutes an argument. Suffice it to say that I shall show this claim to be false. I will also point out that the resolution specified that dogs "can have" a sense of self-identity, although I do not intend to rely on this fact.


Con provided a reference for the definition of “Self-identity”. The reference states that: “Self-identity is a multi-dimensional construct that refers to an individual's perception of "self" in relation to any number of characteristics, such as academics (and nonacademics), gender roles and sexuality, racial identity, and many others...The self-concept is an internal model which comprises self-assessments. Features assessed include but are not limited to: personality, skills and abilities, occupation(s) and hobbies, physical characteristics, etc.”


My argument is as follows:

1. Dogs are capable of self-assessment e.g. of their skills and abilities.

2. Therefore, dogs can have a perception of self in relation to a personal characteristic.

3. Therefore, dogs can have some sense of self-identity.


I invite Con and the voters to view the two YouTube videos in which dogs feature.


Con and the voters will note that both videos feature dogs that are faced with the choice of “should I or should I not jump?” Importantly, in both videos, the dogs exhibit hesitation. Why? The answer is that the dogs are making self-assessments of their skills/abilities (e.g. Am I capable of jumping off this cliff/jetty and not harming myself?). Thus, dogs can have a sense of self-identity.

So far, Con has not provided any meaningful or credible argument to show that dogs cannot possibly have a sense of self-identity, as defined in the reference given in Round 1. Unless Con can do so, voters should vote Pro.

Thank you,

Blob

Debate Round No. 2
InVinoVeritas

Con

I phrased the resolution egregiously.

I would like drop all of my arguments and replace it with this one:
I am a dog, and I lack a sense of self-identity. ;) Therefore, based on my personal experiences, the resolution stands.

Vote for Con for free Rooby snacks. Rooby-Rooby-Roooooo!
Blob

Pro

Even if Con were a dog lacking a sense of self-identity, that still would not show that dogs cannot have a sense of self-identity, and I have already provided evidence for this.


Con still has not provided any meaningful or credible argument to show that dogs cannot have a sense of self-identity.


Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
InVinoVeritas

Con

The joke went over Pro's head.

"I am a dog, and I lack a sense of self-identity" is a paradoxical statement, since I am identifying myself as a dog while claiming that I lack a sense of self-identity.
Get it now?

Anyway, I've got a frozen Hot Pocket™ that's begging for a trip to the microwave, and I don't think I have the heart to say no. Hence, I'm off.

Thanks for the debate, Pro. At least we got further than we did in our last debate, during which you were stoned. ;)
Blob

Pro

I was stoned during this debate too...
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by frozen_eclipse 5 years ago
frozen_eclipse
InVinoVeritasBlobTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: plain and simple pro completed the argument and con dropped his contentions enough said
Vote Placed by Travniki 5 years ago
Travniki
InVinoVeritasBlobTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros arguments needed a bit of extrapolation (such as how dogs will back down when they know another dogs abilities are greater) but Con conceded the debate
Vote Placed by FourTrouble 5 years ago
FourTrouble
InVinoVeritasBlobTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I honestly don't know what to say about this debate. Am I supposed to judge on the merit of the joke, or the merit of the argument? For now, a tie.