Thinking about bats thinking

It’s interesting to think that this is what a bat really thinks. It’s interesting because…I don’t think this is what a bat really thinks. I think this is what we think a bat thinks, but in the end is still what we think about bats. Make sense? I know, confusing right? Well…I think thats the point. We as humans can’t know what it feels like to be animals. I mean sure we have primitive instincts that still come into play at times, but we are evolved creatures. Our brains can’t process information like animals. I highly doubt a bat thinks, “When it gets dark we go out to eat, insects mostly” (Lodge 90). That’s just a survival skill a bat has. Like, “hey I need to eat! let me go find some food.” I think the type of food also has to do with digestion…bats can’t really digest anything else besides insects and small critters. Furthermore, the “thought experiment” of this particular students seems to be a projection of what and how that student feels. Meaning that the student is thinking about sex in their own life and that becomes projected onto the assignment at hand “What it’s like to be a Freetail Bat.” Sex has only become sexualized because of humans. All other animals do it for survival and to procreate…It has nothing to do with pleasure so I don’t see how and why bats would mind only “fucking for six weeks out of the whole year.” It seems to me that this experiment worked so far as to show how the thought process of humans really works, not how the thought process of bats work. There’s no doubt in my mind that bats have a thought process, but I also think that it’s quite impossible to think like a bat…but then again, this could be my projection of this assignment.

3 Comments so far

  1.   Jason Tougaw on September 3rd, 2016

    Yes, that’s exactly what the thought experiment is about. We can’t know what it’s like to be a bat (or another human, for that matter).

    Your discussion reminds of of Jakob von Uexkull’s “umwelt” theory. He was a biologist in the early twentieth century, who coined to term to describe species-specific experience of environments:üll

  2.   Caitlin Marziliano on September 5th, 2016

    I thought this was a really insightful post!I like how you explored the possibility humans projecting this way of thinking on to ourselves. Not really sure how related it is, but this got me thinking about hormones in the body and the chemical response that humans have to a particular experience. During sex and when a mother holds her child for the first time, hormones such as oxytocin are released which give the person a feeling of pleasure and bonding. This is a very simple reward system: if you reproduce, you get to feel amazing. This is done on a much smaller scale with the hormone dopamine and any accomplishment. It’s just interesting to think that some of the things you are referring to may not be conscious thoughts at all; just evolution pushing us in one direction or another. This could be the same for animals, such as bats, and is something to consider when thinking about their (or any living thing’s) motivation or thinking process. Great post, I really enjoyed it!

  3.    on September 6th, 2016

    It’s so interesting to follow this thought experiment through, because, if we really were bats, we wouldn’t even be doing this thought experiment to begin with! That’s why it’s such a cool idea-at the end of the day, we’ll never know.

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