Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Animal Intelligence 1

Abstract

FROM the time of Locke downwards the question How far animals have the power of abstraction? has often been discussed. Locke himself maintained that “the having of general ideas is that which puts a perfect distinction betwixt man and brutes, and is an excellency which the faculties of brutes do by no means attain to.” And this view is warmly advocated by Prof. Max Müller and other living thinkers. On the other hand Mr. Romanes, who has made the subject of Animal Intelligence a special study, writes:—“Give a cat or a dog some kind of meat or cake which the animal has never met with, and the careful examination which the morsel undergoes before it is consigned to the mouth proves that the animal has properly abstract ideas of sweet, bitter, hot, nauseous, or in general, good for eating, and bad for eating, i.e., abstract ideas of quality as apart from the object examined—the motive of the examination clearly being to ascertain which general idea of quality is appropriate to the particular object examined.”—NATURE, vol. xx., p. 123.

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

MORGAN, C. Animal Intelligence 1 . Nature 26, 523–524 (1882). https://doi.org/10.1038/026523b0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing