quarta-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 2008

Igualitarismo símio

Comecei a ler um pequeno livro do famoso cientista político Robert A. Dahl chamado "On Political Equality" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006). Após discorrer brevemente sobre Hume, Kant e Rawls, Dahl detalha-nos o seguinte experimento feito com macacos. Seria uma pista das origens das nossas noções de justiça e igualdade, as quais estariam além da razão:

Female capuchin monkeys were taught to exchange tokens - granite pebbles - with the experimenter in return for grapes and cucumbers. Previous experiments had shown that in 90 percent of the trials the female monkeys preferred grapes to cucumber slices, and that in less than 5 percent of the cases they failed to hand back the token in exchange for the food. Two monkeys were than placed in their cages in pairs so that each could see the other and observe which of the two rewards the other received. The experimenters observed that if one monkey was given a cucumber in return for her pebble but saw that the other received more valued grape, the former often reacted by either refusing to hand over the pebble or choosing not to eat the cucumber. (p. 37-8)

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