There once was a village idiot who, whenever he was offered a choice between a dime and a nickel, unhesitatingly took the nickel -- to the laughter and derision of the onlookers. One day someone asked him if he could be so stupid as to continue choosing the nickel after hearing all that laughter. Replied the idiot, "Do you think that if I ever took the dime they'd ever offer me another choice?"
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Dennett relates a funny little story in footnote of The Intentional Stance (p.254), as a warning against attributing seemingly inappropriate or incomprehensible animal behaviour to sheer 'stupidity' rather than looking for a more charitable explanation: