Friday, 3 July 2015

ryle's rabbits

The following clip tickles me endlessly. Especially at around 50 seconds when Gilbert Ryle is talking about a rabbit whose limited cognitive repertoire constraints the kinds of emotions he may feel (e.g. indignation is apparently not an option) although perhaps he 'could feel anger of a sorts...  if another rabbit was going orf with his wife or something of the sorts...'



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One can understand Ryle's inclination to think indignation a richer affect than anger, hence one not so readily ascribed to the not-so-behaviourally-and-culturally-well-endowed lowly bunny. But it occurs to me, when I put my mind to the task of discerning rabbit affectivity, that I can rather more easily imagine rabbit behaviour that seemed expressive of indignation than I can of anger. I can imagine a rabbit becoming aggressive, for example - perhaps when fighting, but would I really think it angry? However, without pretending to any ethological prowess, I can I think imagine something at least akin to a snooty, shunning, rabbit taking offence.