Monday, 4 October 2010

Morning Scepticism: Reasons

It's not enough that a cuckoo bird lays its egg in that of another bird, but the baby cuckoo then pushes the other eggs out of the nest. The reason for this is to maximise the amount of care for the cuckoo, not that the cuckoo chick realises this. Reasons must exist independent of a mind to represent them, for the cuckoo chick without conscious awareness of its action nonetheless does so because of the benefit for doing it. As agents, we can represent these reasons and from that utilise it. But there's no denying that someone who builds a nut-cracker, a chimpanzee using a rock, or a bird with a strong beak all are for the same reason: they crack nuts.

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