Humans are classified by science to be the highest form of animals within the hierarchy of the zoological classification. Such recognition was partly influenced by the fact that we have the abilities unique among the living creatures, and nothing has come yet in the planet that manifests greater than the understanding of the human species…
We laugh and enjoy on good things; feel sad and cry on bad things and adverse moments; we also understand each other; we develop desires. We acquire, improve, and utilize knowledge to develop concepts, principles, laws, and methods. Everything we do and every time we do it we are explicitly aware of our actions. This same uniqueness even created fictional ideas, that man is a special creature that is not part of this world. But this is not the emphasis of this paper. It is assumed here that human is part of the evolutionary process and is a type of creatures with special understanding that was part of the complex evolutionary path. Because of the human awareness, he created and honored the guidelines of morality, which we commonly refer as human rights as a basis of our actions to achieve harmony within the society.
But several ideas came out that certain type of primates show some level of awareness that humans claimed. The question whether primates have a theory of mind was started by Premack & Woodruff (1979) and created interest in the studies on cognition with these creatures. Characteristics of the existence of a mind among these creatures are exhibited by several experiments in psychology. Behaviors such as self-recognition, imitation, role taking, deception, perspective taking, and some show of social relationship among their groups were observed and discussed by Heyes (1998). These ideas received a lot of criticisms and were subjects for scrutiny and verifications. Debates are even widespread about the subject.
The growing popularity of the idea that primates do think and have a theory of mind created a somewhat weird question within the society. Should primates be accorded human rights on the basis that they have theory of the mind There are several moral issues associated with such questions. A lot of "what-ifs" can be derived from this idea. If we grant primates the same rights we have, can they be part of our society This question can be addressed by examining the validity of some facts and the associating them in the context of human rights.
This paper is primary geared towards finding facts and recommendations to address the human rights issue on primates. The contents will discuss basic principles on "The Theory of the Mind," what it is all about, what are its implications to the human society and its association with defined and accepted social norms and human rights. It will explore the controversial primate characteristics associated with the existence of theory of the mind within these creatures as enumerated and discussed by Heyes (1998).
This report, however, is neither an exhaustive review of existing available facts and information about existence of mind in primates nor an elaborate case study on primate's rights. This paper would present the facts why humans recognize common rights in the context of the Theory of Mind and if such characteristic does exist in primates. It is a critical evaluation of available facts based on limited sources and is reflective of ideas as a personal perspective based on critical analyses of certain issues.
Scientific views on theory of the mind
This section would deal with the principles and information that explains in general terms the theory of the mind and the mechanism involved in the social cognition and the ...
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