The Philosophy of Animal Minds
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This volume is a collection of fourteen essays by leading philosophers on issues concerning the nature, existence, and our knowledge of animal minds. The nature of animal minds has been a topic of interest to philosophers since the origins of philosophy, and recent years have seen significant philosophical engagement with the subject. However, there is no volume that represents the current state of play in this important and growing field. The purpose of this volume is to highlight the state of the debate. The issues which are covered include whether and to what degree animals think in a language or in iconic structures, possess concepts, are conscious, self-aware, metacognize, attribute states of mind to others, and have emotions, as well as issues pertaining to our knowledge of and the scientific standards for attributing mental states to animals.
itself, was brought to prominence by Fodor (). This may be an unhappy name for this view. I call it thus because it can be seen as a version of a view in which sense determines reference. What do animals think? turns to skepticism. There is some fact of the matter about what Fido believes, even if Stich on this occasion does not know what it is. On the brain-writing view, the belief is constituted by mental representations in Fido’s brain that in principle could be read off if we were
to track the cognitive capacities that a thinking creature possesses, not its cognitive performance. For familiar reasons – having to do with contingent limitations of memory, attention, inferential skills, and so forth – it might be the case that a thinker is causally prevented from entertaining certain recombinations of its concepts, even though the creature possesses the underlying conceptual competence to do so. What we should claim, therefore, is that it must be metaphysically possible for
large group, where she benefits from predator detection and defense. (p. ) The fact that baboons can bring thoughts about various topics together to produce unified action seems to suggest that they have a general medium of thought. But since only language provides enough expressive generality to cover all of these domains, it appears that baboons must think in language after all. Against this stands the fact that baboons don’t manifest an ability to think hierarchically structured thoughts
of conceptual and propositional forms of thinking in invertebrates.] The representational basis of brute metacognition constraint, grasping the truth-conditions for “Peter will come” and for “Anna is late” would allow one to grasp the truth-conditions for “Anna will come” and for “Peter is late”: predicates are not tied in thought to particulars, and neither are particulars tied to predicates. The generality constraint emphasizes the role, in rational thinking, of the ability to combine
cases, one or several bodies moving through space as a main source of internal and external feedback. Thus the second step only involves a theoretical interpretation of step one. Portia’s total set of cognitive trails composes her regulation space. Portia’s jumping on another spider is made possible by the non-conceptual content of her vision, which also motivates her to act (i.e., track a given trail or select and operate a given command). Our framework, as completed, offers straightforward