This one's for you, Typha! I got the idea from your thread. Let's see...do animals have a "sense of self"? Upon first reflection I would say no. But there are a great many possible phenomena. Anyway, here are your arguments for: a) hunger b) fear A) HUNGER...When a thing is hungry it will eat. If it has no sense of self, it will not eat? Yes, it will. While you, as a human, may contemplate your hunger, an animal would simply go out and satisfy it. You eat to stop yourself from being uncomfortable. An animal eats to appease the hunger, not itself. B) FEAR...True, everything has an instinctual desire to stay alive. But why? Humans because we (most of us) like living. We avoid injury because it hurts and we don't like that. Animals desire to continue their lives because it is ingrained in them to procreated as many times as possible before they reach the ends of their life spans. Of course, we do too! But they do it because they're more concerned with the continuance of their species rather than themselves. If they become injured, that would complicate the foremost concern, living and breeding. DNA is more important to them than a nonexistant "self". Now that I've successfully bashed my own arguments- hey! what are fair people suppose to do? -I would like to enter into evidence exhibit C... C) TERRITORY...Animals show a great aggression when it comes to their territory. They mark what they want as their own and go about life mauling intruders. The point? In order to own territory, the animal must have some basic sense of self that separates it from its environment and others in it. When it marks it is sending out a message: This is MY territory. Stay away from what belongs to ME. I don't want you on what is MINE. The clincher?...I can hardly wait!... Studies done on the development of toddlers show that the little ones don't even begin to realize their individuality until around the time they begin to talk. They don't recognize themselves in a mirror, or use words like "I, me, myself, mine". But when they do they go about exercising their new skill with almost intolerable trial and error people skills. They latch on to what they finally consider as theirs and will not share because they haven't gotten that far yet...I guess some animals don't know about that either...Nor some adult humans for that matter... Anyway, there it is. Enjoy picking it apart if you will. Any, Typha...I'm expecting to see a post from you. I'm sure it will be brilliant.