What is meant by "View"?

Self-awareness is not the same as views. For an animal to have a view means it would have to literally, using language, formulate a thought such as “My self is a distinct entity from my body. In a past life I must have been a bad vegan!” There is no evidence that any animal has developed the cognitive ability to do anything like this.

What these tests are looking for, if anything at all, is the underlying tendency towards a sense of self.


The way I understand the latent factors are find in animals as well.
Considering this I thought self view is latent in animals and infants.

I was not suggesting that it was but rather responding to SarathW1 asking if animals and children could have self view – something I assumed to be more like self awareness as opposed to views about reincarnation and such.

That would certainly constitute a view in my opinion but from the OP I had the sense that view was referring to something more general. Using your earlier definitions:

Views are theories. They are relatively stable structures of thought and opinion that guide how we think and see the world. …
We develop views out of an interaction between our own desires and sense of self, and our environment, the experiences and facts we encounter. Views allow us to make sense of the world by fitting diverse experiences into one framework that makes sense to us.

So with this sort of criteria, if someone decides to carefully observe the behaviour of a number of possible mates with regard to how much food and protection do they offer and after spending quite a bit of time comes to the decision “that’s the one for me” - I think this would constitute a ‘view’ - again, in a general sense. And modern research indicates that chickens do this along with many other interesting things.

Agreed. But would that not be a prerequisite for being able to formulate views (along with language)? And a number of animals have been found to have both a sense of self (and other) awareness as well as an ability to communicate (again, chickens for example).

My point really is that we cannot say with certainty what goes on in the minds of animals short of being able to directly know their conscious experience. In the past we have denied them emotions, self awareness, ability to make tools, ability to communicate - and now we have come to reject all these notions.