Your Lying Eyes

Dedicated to uncovering the truth that stands naked before your lying eyes.

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26 January 2006

Do Humans Really Have 'Personalities'?

Steve Sailer links to this interesting NYT article on, as Steve puts it, "the belated rediscovery by scientists of the fact, which is utterly obvious to anyone who has owned more than one pet of the same species, that animals have varying personalities and feel emotions that are often similar to ours."

I kind of view this a little differently. To me it suggests that what we think of as personality is really just a set of various evolved behaviors we inherited from animals. Our use of language and our own individual self awareness have deluded us into thinking these behaviors constitute some rich complex of cognitive activity that bestows on each of us a "personality" - but it's just a mirage. While this may seem overly pessimistic, it actually makes me feel better - all this time I always felt so deprived having no personality - I thought I was missing something!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I humbly request you read my slipshod, though profound, defense of personhood: "A Thousand Denim Jackets and One Andy Schmitz" (THE LECTURES OF MORTIMER SHY). The question of whether humans really have personalities is rather loaded, sort of pointedly opinionated in itself, I'd say. But who am I?

January 27, 2006 5:13 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Well, sure, are highly complex compared to other animals and so our responses are more unpredictable to any given situation. But I think evidence that other animals do things that resemble thinking, expressing emotions, and displaying personalities tells me that these are ultimately rather shallow features in homo sapiens rather than making animals seem any more special.

January 28, 2006 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for sammy Alito not providing enough info during his inquisition, all should listen to the Ginsgurg hearings back in 19??: she gave up nothing. She discussed zippo- was rather smug at times, and gave us no indication on what position she would take. Alito is from the right, Ginsburg from the farrrrrr left. So we do know how each would vote.
Why do we waste the country's money on these hearings? The High Court will still tilt to the left, so let's get on with the appointment and quibble over an appointee that will truly divide the court.

January 28, 2006 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't hide your lyin' eyes
and your smile is a thin disguise.
I thought by now you'd realize
there ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes.

January 28, 2006 7:11 PM  
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