More evidence of the concept of the self in non-humans

March 28, 2013


This video shows a mother dolphin mourning the death of her infant. The narration by the tour guide is very good.

If that link goes down try CNN here:

It has long been speculated that only animals capable of conceptualizing conspecifics as selves – unique individuals – who can transition from life to death would be capable of mourning. This film clip would fit with a recent article that dolphins give one another unique names.

All this is another nail in the coffin of the idea that you need human language or human culture to produce grief.

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About Peter Freed, M.D.

I am a psychiatrist (psychopharmacology and psychotherapy) specializing in the so-called "personality disorders," particularly narcissistic and borderline personality disorders. I was a Fellow and then an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia from 2004- 2011. I am currently in private practice in NYC.

View all posts by Peter Freed, M.D.

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3 Comments on “More evidence of the concept of the self in non-humans”

  1. Says:

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  1. Learning Psychopathology At the Movies and a New Model of Emotions News Roundup: March 2013 5th Edition | The Amazing World of Psychiatry: A Psychiatry Blog - March 28, 2013

    […] Assistant Psychiatry Professor Peter Freed looks at mourning in Dolphins in this post. […]

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