Birds, Bees, and Going Declarative
BDK wrote: Bees represent where nectar is in the world, communicate this to other bees, which respond appropriately. I frankly don't understand the reaction to imagining that this simple capacity were scaled up in ways I said. Especially if we were to add syntactic operations to the scaled up number of elemental contents. We'd have the roots of more interesting thoughts.
I have been trying to work out what disagreements I have with you. The problem I have here is that to my mind there is a difference between causing action appropriate to someting being the case (causing the bees to go where the nectar is), and declaring it to be the case that the nectar is in such--and-such a place. Science is inherently declarative, and requires understanding. It is in my view tempting, but erroneous, to attribute a declarative character to bee dances and birdsongs.
It seems possible to understand some proposition without having any other propositional attitude. But this seems not possible for the birds and the bees.
Labels: propositional content