When I was in junior high school, I had a horse that could count to three. I would say, "Count the three," and she would scrape the ground three times. She could do it for one and two as well. She also nodded her head when she was told to say "Yes," and shook her head for "No." For me it was a chance to impress visitors. For her it involved a carrot.
But Lady Anne was not as smart as Trigger, Roy Rogers horse. Look here Trigger dances, and here he actually acts!
But was Lady Anne really "counting"? And could Trigger really dance? And act? All Lady Anne knew is that if she performed a certain action in response to a certain command, it would result in a carrot. She didn't understand what she was doing. She could clearly distinguish between commands, and which one was calling for which action, but she didn't know anything about the concept "one," or "two" or "three." What Trigger's reward was, I don't know, although it apparently largely involved the emotional reward she got from the relationship with Roy Rogers, who, I heard Dale Evans say once, was an amazing one.
These animals can't reflect on what do, which would involve mentally stepping outside of themselves and viewing as a third person, they just do it.
When Lady Anne scraped the ground with her hoof, she couldn't think about the idea of "scraping the ground with your hoof." She could eat a carrot, but she couldn't think about the idea of "eating a carrot". This involves some kind of abstract conceptual realization that animals do not possess, but that humans, as rational animals, do.
One of the questions that has come up in the comments section of the post on the controversy over Adam and Eve is the nature of the difference between humans and non-humans, and whether animals can conceptualize like humans. The Aristotelian distinction separating man from animal is rationality, and that rationality has been said to consist in some inherent metaphysical ability to conceptualize.
Our beloved Singring, the chief rabble rouser in the Peanut Gallery, claims that primates have the ability to apprehend abstract concepts, but he keeps pointing to instances which do not demonstrate what he claims. He keeps posting links to websites that show or describe apes engaging in certain technical procedures that are clearly clever, but don't give any indication of an ability conceptualize in an abstract way.
So what exactly is the difference between humans and animals in regard to conceptualization? I would submit that man's "rationality" consists in his ability to apprehend universal concepts through process of abstraction (the process by which one intellectually moves from a particular instance of a thing to the concept or idea of the thing), to make judgments about those concepts which are expressed in statements, and to make deductive inferences using those judgments. And animals cannot apprehend universal concepts because they are incapable of abstraction, and they cannot therefore make judgments, because judgments are made up of those concepts which they cannot apprehend, and they cannot make deductive inferences because they are made up of judgments, which they are incapable of making.
For example, a dog might be able to apprehend that his master is feeding him, but he cannot articulate, even his his own mind, "The man (the physical thing in front of me now) is feeding me," since that involves the predication of one concept of another, and he can't apprehend concepts. And he can't think "Man is a rational animal" or "Dogs are mammals." And he can't reflect back on any of these thoughts, viewing them as grammatical procedures, nor can he reflect on the fact that he had these thoughts in the first place.
In other words, animals cannot conceptualize, predicate, judge, or deductively infer. And nothing Singring has said shows he can do any of these things that rational animals are capable of. And this, by the way, is why animals don't have language of the kind humans use.
Oh, and, smart as he is, Trigger can't dance or act either.