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Tag: other regarding


Came across an interesting theory that differentiates humans and animals.

Animals are said to be ‘self-regarding’ in nature. This means that when they communicate, they are always talking about themselves. Like “I’m hungry”, “I’m angry”, “I’m excited”, “I’m looking for a mate”, “I’m a part of this group” and so on.

Humans are ‘other-regarding’ because we are able to reference external objects.

This is very rare in the animal world, except for alarm calls, as you would know if you’ve been on any jungle safari. The safari guide would quickly be able to identify warning calls from Samba deer or specific monkeys, as these animals try to warn others around them.

But this is not rare at all for humans, because we can think in other people’s terms, and communicate through empathy and compassion as well. Despite this amazing superpower, most people choose to only talk and think about themselves. What irony ?

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