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Animals and Consciousness


A great interest in animal consciousness has been centralized in philosophy and scientific studies for decades. It is necessary to stress that the problem of determination whether animals are conscious or not stretches the scientific methodology and knowledge limits; the question is concentrated on the contrast and comparison of humans to animals. The paper will be focused on the analysis of animals’ consciousness being perceived as one of the corners describing general theory about animal mind and cognition.

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Literature Overview

According to Susan Blackmore, an English psychologist and writer, the concept of animals’ consciousness requires special attention. Cultural instructions perceived by the animals, impact the formation of appropriate behavior in the animals’ nervous system internal structure. This concept allows animals imitate behavior of other representatives of nature world through so called ‘cultural instructions’ assumed in the period of creature formation and development. Blackmore paid special attention to the investigation of animals’ brain; the size of brain impacts the formation of cognitive maps for food searching and regulates the actions in various unpredictable environments.

Arguments for Animals’ Consciousness

The principle arguments for animals’ consciousness proving are concentrated on the similarities between animal and human behavior; it should be stressed that such factors as high pitched vocalizations, pain responses, injuries nursing and fear responses are considered to be referred to common mammalian heritage uniting human and animal organisms on the basis of conscious stimulators. Visual illusions were proved to be generic arguments for consciousness connections. Besides, it is necessary to underline the importance of neurological characteristics to consciousness, making inference be the most vivid explanation strategy; it can be seen through the analysis of conscious mechanisms domination over unconscious ones. It is necessary to stress the idea that current scientific investigations demonstrate strong proves for the animals have consciousness on the basis of the following factors:

  • Animal suffering and pain;
  • Animal Emotions;
  • The analysis of perceptual phenomenology;
  • Metacognition and self consciousness;
  • Consciousness evolution;

The use of animals in modern medical experiments proves their cognitive and mental similarities to humans allowing analyzing the effects produced on the organism condition for diseases and treatments investigation. The animal pain investigation on the basis of fine-grained analysis of consciousness neural correlates gave an opportunity to reveal differences between various species in consciousness concepts, but confirmed their expression in animals’ behavior, reaction, fear and pain responses and mental processes.


Scientific analysis managed to prove the consciousness of animals through the investigation of basic similarities between human and animal nature. Susan Blackmore dedicated her study to the investigation of consciousness processes of animals, which gave an opportunity to identify mental and brain activities in nervous system internal structure expressed through behavior and reaction being similar to human characteristics.

Works Cited

Consciousness: An Introduction, (2nd Ed). New York, Oxford University Press.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 21). Animals and Consciousness.

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"Animals and Consciousness." StudyCorgi, 21 Nov. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Animals and Consciousness." November 21, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Animals and Consciousness." November 21, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Animals and Consciousness." November 21, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Animals and Consciousness'. 21 November.

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