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2012-02-28 11:35:28|  分类: 阅读理解 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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【阅读理解】动物有意识吗? - 佳中 - 嘉华相恋







         The thinking among behavioral researchers, cognitive scientists and philosophers has been

that the actions of animals are unconscious.  Behavior, in this view, stems almost exclusively from

instinct, a sort of genetically programmed autopilot that provides an animal with rules for daily living.

If animals behave in ways that seem pretty clever, they do so without thinking about it. Animals may

know things but they don’t know that they know.

        Or do they? Scientists distrust fuzzy notions like “mind” and “consciousness”. It is this bias

against phenomena that are difficult to observe and quantify, argues Donald Griffin in his new book.

“Animal Minds”, that allows science to dismiss the question of animal consciousness.

        In his new book, Griffin cites the recent research reports that demonstrate a startling depth of

intelligence among animals. Although he concedes that no one can yet prove the existence of animal

consciousness, the data that he offers make a compelling case for at least considering it. Pointing to

examples of animals exhibiting versatile, adaptive behavior in response to novel challenges, Griffin

says, “the limited evidence that we have suggests that animals think about things in relationships. So

it is hard to avoid the possibility that they think about themselves.”

      Griffin analyzes the definition of consciousness in two ways. First it is awareness — an ability to

recognize and make judgments about one’s surroundings. Animals pass this test all the time. The

second, higher consciousness is self-awareness, or recognizing oneself as having an identity, with

the capacity to contemplate that identity. It is difficult to imagine a dog thinking in terms like “I, Rover,”

but Griffin does not argue that animals have a consciousness as complex and varied as a human’s.

Instead, he asks whether there might be a middle ground where animals are aware of themselves as

individuals. In other words, a pigeon knows it and finds eating bread crumbs desirable, but it can not

compose poetry about the experience.

       Another element of consciousness is intention. Griffin suggests animals can anticipate future

events, make a decision and act on it. Sea otters use rocks as tools to crack open the shells.

Green-backed herons drop twigs or other bits of material into ponds, using it as bait to attract

feeding minnows. In winter when their ponds freeze over, beavers break holes in their dams to

create airspace beneath the ice. All examples show that some animals are capable of recognizing

relationships and inferring future consequences from present events.   

                                                                                                                (410 words)


1. According to this passage, many traditional scientists believe that animals __________.

    [A] know things that they do not know

    [B] rely on consciousness for their daily life

    [C] behave cleverly without meaning to do so

    [D] act automatically on programmed thoughts

2. The question of animal consciousness has so far been put out of scientists’ mind because


    [A] the concept is vague and it is difficult to measure

    [B] the notion is confused and it is hard to characterize

    [C] scientists have bias against Griffin’s new book “Animal Minds”

    [D] behavioral scientists have fuzzy notions about “mind” and “consciousness”

3. From the fourth paragraph we learn that animals __________.

    [A] have some awareness of themselves

    [B] know what is desirable to them

    [C] lack capacity to recognize themselves

    [D] show a startling depth of intelligence

4. According to Griffin, some animals have evolved to __________.

    [A] think about things around and themselves

    [B] reason things out by abstract thinking

    [C] engage in some forms of mental labour

    [D] perform purposeful actions in advance

5. It is evident that Griffin’s new book is designed to __________.

    [A] compare the difference in consciousness among animals

    [B] explore the relation between animal intelligence and consciousness

    [C] shed fresh light on the concept of animal consciousness

    [D] clarify the fuzzy notions of animal minds and consciousness




 1.【答案】 C

    【解析】 这是一道细节题,针对第一段命题。动物是否具有意识?长期以来许多科学家(如行


      色的行为表现,但并不是思维的结果(If animjal behave in ways that seem pretty clever, they do

       so without thinking about it);动物也许认识事物,但它们并不意识到这一点。[C]的意思是动物



 2.【答案】 A

    【解析】 这是一道细节题,针对第二段命题。作者在第二段阐述了为什么动物意识长期得不到研



     化的复杂现象存在的偏见,正是这种偏见使科学家们放弃了对动物意识的研究(It is this bias

     against phenomena that are difficult to observe and quantify ……… that allows science to dismiss 

     the question of animal consciousness.)”。[A]项的意思是动物意识的概念是模糊的,是难以测


     observe and quantify。




 3.【答案】 C

    【解析】 这是一道题,针对第四段命题。格里芬从两个层面分析动物的意思,一是“awareness”,


      此来思考的能力,这种自我意识的能力动物没有,比如一条狗是不可能以“我是Rover” 来思考事



 4.【答案】 D

    【解析】 这是一道判断题,针对格里芬关于动物意识的看法(涉及第三、四、五段)命题。题干

      问:根据格里芬的观点,动物(意识)进化到 ……?[A]项的意思是能思考事物和自己。错,动


      这两项都错,格里芬认为动物还没有像人一样的复杂意识(Griffin does not argue that animals

      have a consciousness as complex and varied as a human’s)。




 5.【答案】 C

    【解析】 这是一道推断题。从文中谈论格里芬对动物意识的看法,不难推断格里芬的新书是论述





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