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Old 11-01-2011, 12:44 AM   #1
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Feelings?

Simple question, do fish have feelings?
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:48 AM   #2
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Well they feel stress, fear, pain, safety/security. After that, who knows?
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:56 AM   #3
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To an extent, I say yes. They lack the proper brian make-up for us to ever say they feel emotions like a person does, but studies show they have personalities similar to the way people do. I think fish have feelings in the sense that they can feel a good or bad situation, stress, excitment, and other similar things like that. Can they feel jealousy or love? I do not think so.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:27 AM   #4
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I do believe they have primal emotions, like fear, but how about sadness? happiness? I don't think so.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:33 AM   #5
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Depends on the fish. There is a large expanse of intelligence between fish. Something like most schooling fish (danios for example) have a small amount of intelligence and have very little human-percieved "feelings". Something like an oscar on the otherhand is quite intelligent (for a fish, of course) and can show full personality, recognize its reflection (sometimes, not all of them do), and learn simple training.

I don't believe fish truly have feelings. They don't have the capacity of free will or love or any of those. They do feel pain, etc. as the others have said. I think it's more of where you draw what feelings are. Sometimes I think all of my pets have feelings, but that is partly the personification I have put on them because of my love for them.

You could argue fish have feelings, I'm sure. But, I'm more inclined that high mammals are the only ones to have feelings. Researching intelligence of various animals is always fun and can bring up some fascinating information.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:36 AM   #6
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Depends on the fish. There is a large expanse of intelligence between fish. Something like most schooling fish (danios for example) have a small amount of intelligence and have very little human-percieved "feelings". Something like an oscar on the otherhand is quite intelligent (for a fish, of course) and can show full personality, recognize its reflection (sometimes, not all of them do), and learn simple training.

I don't believe fish truly have feelings. They don't have the capacity of free will or love or any of those. They do feel pain, etc. as the others have said. I think it's more of where you draw what feelings are. Sometimes I think all of my pets have feelings, but that is partly the personification I have put on them because of my love for them.

You could argue fish have feelings, I'm sure. But, I'm more inclined that high mammals are the only ones to have feelings. Researching intelligence of various animals is always fun and can bring up some fascinating information.

That's why I like these topics, if they stay civil they can really make us think and explore other ideas.

I don't think it's accurate to judge the level of a fishes 'feelings' based on it's interaction with humans (at least solely), that would be more anthropomorphic than anything. It does show a higher form of intelligence (i.e. identifying who feeds it), but actual feelings, I'm not so sure.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:40 AM   #7
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I do believe they have primal emotions, like fear, but how about sadness? happiness? I don't think so.
Personally, I do. Not like mammals, but I beleive they have a primal sense of happy vs. unhappy. From what I have read about fish brains and research they have the physical capacity for some base things like that, but certainly not what we consider higher emotion.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:43 AM   #8
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Personally, I do. Not like mammals, but I beleive they have a primal sense of happy vs. unhappy. From what I have read about fish brains and research they have the physical capacity for some base things like that, but certainly not what we consider higher emotion.
I could see that. I mean, there can't be too difficult of a link between the feeling of satisfaction of being full, warm, healthy, and being happy, right?

This is an awesome thread. Definetly opinion based, but I'm sure it will stay civil.

And yea, I can see the not basing human interaction as a sign of intelligence. Just one of the points to bring up, I guess.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:43 AM   #9
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I guess it'd be important to define what we consider happy and sad, at least in a fish. What do you consider a 'happy fish' to do different from the norm, and likewise with a 'sad' one? And how would you differentiate a sad, or pouting fish, from a purely stressed one?
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:57 AM   #10
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I guess it'd be important to define what we consider happy and sad, at least in a fish. What do you consider a 'happy fish' to do different from the norm, and likewise with a 'sad' one? And how would you differentiate a sad, or pouting fish, from a purely stressed one?
Oh yeah, thats true. For me, I was defining happy vs. unhappy by a fish's ability to sense a bad situation and try to removie itself from that situation. A lot of the research I personally have read on this subject has to do with trout/salmon. Trout can sense a situation is not good. Related trout who all look the same showed different personalities in the sense that some were consistently bolder in multiple situations. So, if the bolder trout were prevented from being to food first, they got stressed and lost color. They seemed dis-content to not be allowed to follow their personality.
I suppose that contentment vs. dis-content is maybe a better description, but that has human implications too.
I don't think fish have the same feelings as people, but I don't know of better terms to use while I am explaining things to people.

EDIT: I should add that I don't personally have an issue talking about happy fish, but I personally wouldn't call a fish sad.
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