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Summary The topic of Animal Cognition is a broad interdisciplinary area with contributions by philosophers, psychologists, behavioral biologists, and neuroscientists. Because the definition of "cognition" is itself contested, the exact range of capacities attributable to animals and capable of empirical investigation is also contested, but these capacities include general reasoning, reasoning in specific domains such as causal inference or social hierarchies, tool use, problem solving, communicative and proto-linguistic abilities, episodic and semantic memory, spatial navigation (including cognitive maps), metacognition, self-recognition and self-awareness, and so-called "mind reading" or "theory of mind".  Questions about the existence, distribution and forms of animal consciousness are also raised in the context of animal cognition.
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  1. H. A. (2003). Animal Psychology and Ethology in Britain and the Emergence of Professional Concern for the Concept of Ethical Cost [Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 33c/2 (2002), 235-261]. [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 34 (1):201-201.
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  2. H. A. (2002). Animal Psychology and Ethology in Britain and the Emergence of Professional Concern for the Concept of Ethical Cost. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (2):235-262.
    It has been argued that if an animal is psychologically like us, there may be more scientific reason to experiment upon it, but less moral justification to do so. Some scientists deny the existence of this dilemma, claiming that although there are scientifically valuable similarities between humans and animals that make experimentation worthwhile, humans are at the same time unique and fundamentally different. This latter response is, ironically, typical of pre-Darwinian beliefs in the relationship between human and non-human animals. Another (...)
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  3. Ikuma Adachi (2009). Cross-Modal Representations in Primates and Dogs A New Framework of Recognition of Social Objects. Interaction Studies 10 (2):225-251.
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  4. Pieter R. Adriaens & Andreas de Block (eds.) (2011). Maladapting Minds: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Evolutionary Theory. Oxford University Press.
    Maladapting Minds discusses a number of reasons why philosophers of psychiatry should take an interest in evolutionary explanations of mental disorders and, more generally, in evolutionary thinking. First of all, there is the nascent field of evolutionary psychiatry. Unlike other psychiatrists, evolutionary psychiatrists engage with ultimate, rather than proximate, questions about mental illnesses. Being a young and youthful new discipline, evolutionary psychiatry allows for a nice case study in the philosophy of science. Secondly, philosophers of psychiatry have engaged with evolutionary (...)
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  5. Mariela Aguilera (2010). Animales sin lenguaje en el espacio de los conceptos. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):25-38.
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  6. Colin Allen (2004). Is Anyone a Cognitive Ethologist? Biology and Philosophy 19 (4):589-607.
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  7. Colin Allen (2002). A Skeptic's Progress. Biology and Philosophy 17 (5):695-702.
    Seven chimpanzees in twenty-seven experiments run over the course of five years at his University of Louisiana laboratory in New Iberia, Louisiana, are at the heart of Daniel Povinelli’s case that chimpanzee thinking about the physical world is not at all like that of humans. Chimps, according to Povinelli and his coauthors James Reaux, Laura Theall, and Steve Giambrone, are phenomenally quick at learning to associate visible features of tools with specific uses of those tools, but they appear to lack (...)
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  8. Kristin Andrews (2014). The Animal Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animal Cognition. Routledge.
    The study of animal cognition raises profound questions about the minds of animals and philosophy of mind itself. Aristotle argued that humans are the only animal to laugh, but in recent experiments rats have also been shown to laugh. In other experiments, dogs have been shown to respond appropriately to over two hundred words in human language. In this introduction to the philosophy of animal minds Kristin Andrews introduces and assesses the essential topics, problems and debates as they cut across (...)
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  9. Kristin Andrews (2011). Beyond Anthropomorphism: Attributing Psychological Properties to Animals. In Tom L. Beauchamp R. G. Frey (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics. Oxford University Press 469--494.
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  10. Kristin Andrews (2007). Critter Psychology: On the Possibility of Nonhuman Animal Folk Psychology. In Daniel D. Hutto & Matthew Ratcliffe (eds.), Folk Psychology Re-Assessed. Kluwer/Springer Press 191--209.
  11. Kristin Andrews (2005). Chimpanzee Theory of Mind: Looking in All the Wrong Places? Mind and Language 20 (5):521-536.
    I respond to an argument presented by Daniel Povinelli and Jennifer Vonk that the current generation of experiments on chimpanzee theory of mind cannot decide whether chimpanzees have the ability to reason about mental states. I argue that Povinelli and Vonk’s proposed experiment is subject to their own criticisms and that there should be a more radical shift away from experiments that ask subjects to predict behavior. Further, I argue that Povinelli and Vonk’s theoretical commitments should lead them to accept (...)
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  12. Kristin Andrews & Brian Huss (2014). Anthropomorphism, Anthropectomy, and the Null Hypothesis. Biology and Philosophy 29 (5):711-729.
    We examine the claim that the methodology of psychology leads to a bias in animal cognition research against attributing “anthropomorphic” properties to animals . This charge is examined in light of a debate on the role of folk psychology between primatologists who emphasize similarities between humans and other apes, and those who emphasize differences. We argue that while in practice there is sometimes bias, either in the formulation of the null hypothesis or in the preference of Type-II errors over Type-I (...)
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  13. Pamela Asquith (1980). The Origins and Rise of Ethology: The Science of the Natural Behaviour of Animals. [REVIEW] British Journal for the History of Science 13 (3):273-274.
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  14. M. Bavidge & I. Ground (2009). Do Animals Need a Theory of Mind? In I. Leudar & A. Costall (eds.), Against Theory of Mind‎. Palgrave 167--188.
    This book brings together disparate strands of ToM research, lays out historical roots of the idea, and indicates better alternatives.
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  15. Marc Bekoff (1999). Social Cognition: Exchanging and Sharing Information on the Run. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 51 (1):617-632.
    In this essay I consider various aspects of the rapidly growing field of cognitive ethology, concentrating mainly on evolutionary and comparative discussion of the notion of intentionality. I am not concerned with consciousness, per se, for a concentration on consciousness deflects attention from other, and in many cases more interesting, problems in the study of animal cognition. I consider how, when, where, and (attempt to discuss) why individuals from different taxa exchange social information concerning their beliefs, desires, and goals. My (...)
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  16. Marc Bekoff & Dale W. Jamieson (eds.) (1996). Readings in Animal Cognition. MIT Press.
    This collection of 24 readings is the first comprehensive treatment of important topics by leading figures in the rapidly growing interdisciplinary field of...
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  17. José Luis Bermúdez (2011). The Force-Field Puzzle and Mindreading in Non-Human Primates. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):397-410.
    What is the relation between philosophical theorizing and experimental data? A modest set of naturalistic assumptions leads to what I term the force-field puzzle. The assumption that philosophy is continuous with natural science, as captured in Quine’s force-field metaphor, seems to push us simultaneously towards thinking that there have to be conceptual constraints upon how we interpret experimental data and towards thinking that there cannot be such conceptual constraints, because all theorizing must be accountable to data and observation. The key (...)
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  18. José Luis Bermúdez (2009). Mindreading in the Animal Kingdom. In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press
    ven a cursory look at the extensive literature on mindreading in nonhuman animals reveals considerable variation both in what mindreading abilities are taken to be, and in what is taken as evidence for them. Claims that seem to contradict each other are often not inconsistent with each other when examined more closely. And sometimes theorists who seem to be on the same side are actually talking at cross-purposes. The first aim of this paper is to tackle some important framework questions (...)
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  19. Jose Luis Bermudez (2006). Animal Reasoning and Proto-Logic. In Susan L. Hurley & Matthew Nudds (eds.), Rational Animals? Oxford University Press
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  20. Jose Luis Bermudez (2003). Ascribing Thoughts to Non-Linguistic Creatures. Facta Philosophica 5 (2):313-34.
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  21. Colin Blakemore & Susan A. Greenfield (1987). Mindwaves: Thoughts on Intelligence, Identity, and Consciousness. Blackwell.
  22. Stefano Borgo, Noemi Spagnoletti, Laure Vieu & Elisabetta Visalberghi (2013). Artifact and Artifact Categorization: Comparing Humans and Capuchin Monkeys. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):375-389.
    We aim to show that far-related primates like humans and the capuchin monkeys show interesting correspondences in terms of artifact characterization and categorization. We investigate this issue by using a philosophically-inspired definition of physical artifact which, developed for human artifacts, turns out to be applicable for cross-species comparison. In this approach an artifact is created when an entity is intentionally selected and some capacities attributed to it (often characterizing a purpose). Behavioral studies suggest that this notion of artifact is not (...)
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  23. Francesca M. Bosco & Maurizio Tirassa (1998). Sharedness as an Innate Basis for Communication in the Infant. In M. A. Gernsbacher & S. J. Derry (eds.), Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. 162-166.
    From a cognitive perspective, intentional communication may be viewed as an agent's activity overtly aimed at modifying a partner's mental states. According to standard Gricean definitions, this requires each party to be able to ascribe mental states to the other, i.e., to entertain a so-called theory of mind. According to the relevant experimental literature, however, such capability does not appear before the third or fourth birthday; it would follow that children under that age should not be viewed as communicating agents. (...)
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  24. Paul Boyle, Sarah Gruber, Thomas Webler, Heidi Lyn, Jessica Sickler, Diana Reiss, John Fraser & Katherine Lemcke (2006). Social Narratives Surrounding Dolphins: Q Method Study. Society and Animals 14 (4):351-382.
    In preparation for development of an exhibit on the cognitive abilities of dolphins, the Wildlife Conservation Society sought to determine potential visitor's social perspectives about dolphin intelligence, and how these beliefs might influence acceptance of scientific information. The study reported here used Q methodology to identify these underlying social perspectives. The study of adults and the study of children each revealed three distinct perspectives. While consensus emerged among adults on points about dolphins' high intelligence and communication abilities, the three perspectives (...)
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  25. Sarah T. Boysen (2006). Effects of Symbols on Chimpanzee Cognition. In Susan L. Hurley & Matthew Nudds (eds.), Rational Animals? Oxford University Press
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  26. Manuel Bremer (2007). Methodologische Überlegungen Zu Tierischen Überzeugungen. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (2):347-355.
    A theory of the beliefs of non-human animals is not closed to us, only because we do not have beliefs of their kind. Starting from a theory of human beliefs and working on a building block model of propositional attitudes a theory of animal beliefs is viable. Such a theory is an example of the broader conception of a heterophenomenological approach to animal cognition. The theory aims at outlining the crucial differences between human and animal beliefs as well as the (...)
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  27. Manuel Bremer (2007). Methodologische Überlegungen zu tierischen Überzeugungen / Methodological Reflections on Exploring Beliefs in Animals. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (2):347 - 355.
    A theory of the beliefs of non-human animals is not closed to us, only because we do not have beliefs of their kind. Starting from a theory of human beliefs and working on a building block model of propositional attitudes a theory of animal beliefs is viable. Such a theory is an example of the broader conception of a heterophenomenological approach to animal cognition. The theory aims at outlining the crucial differences between human and animal beliefs as well as the (...)
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  28. Herbert Brewer (1966). Men and Apes. The Eugenics Review 58 (3):162.
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  29. Cameron Buckner (2014). The Semantic Problem(s) with Research on Animal Mind‐Reading. Mind and Language 29 (5):566-589.
    Philosophers and cognitive scientists have worried that research on animal mind-reading faces a ‘logical problem’: the difficulty of experimentally determining whether animals represent mental states (e.g. seeing) or merely the observable evidence (e.g. line-of-gaze) for those mental states. The most impressive attempt to confront this problem has been mounted recently by Robert Lurz. However, Lurz' approach faces its own logical problem, revealing this challenge to be a special case of the more general problem of distal content. Moreover, participants in this (...)
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  30. Cameron Buckner (2013). A Property Cluster Theory of Cognition. Philosophical Psychology (3):1-30.
    Our prominent definitions of cognition are too vague and lack empirical grounding. They have not kept up with recent developments, and cannot bear the weight placed on them across many different debates. I here articulate and defend a more adequate theory. On this theory, behaviors under the control of cognition tend to display a cluster of characteristic properties, a cluster which tends to be absent from behaviors produced by non-cognitive processes. This cluster is reverse-engineered from the empirical tests that comparative (...)
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  31. Cameron Buckner (2013). Morgan's Canon, Meet Hume's Dictum: Avoiding Anthropofabulation in Cross-Species Comparisons. Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):853-871.
    How should we determine the distribution of psychological traits—such as Theory of Mind, episodic memory, and metacognition—throughout the Animal kingdom? Researchers have long worried about the distorting effects of anthropomorphic bias on this comparative project. A purported corrective against this bias was offered as a cornerstone of comparative psychology by C. Lloyd Morgan in his famous “Canon”. Also dangerous, however, is a distinct bias that loads the deck against animal mentality: our tendency to tie the competence criteria for cognitive capacities (...)
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  32. Richard W. Burkhardt (1999). Ethology, Natural History, the Life Sciences, and the Problem of Place. Journal of the History of Biology 32 (3):489 - 508.
    Investigators of animal behavior since the eighteenth century have sought to make their work integral to the enterprises of natural history and/or the life sciences. In their efforts to do so, they have frequently based their claims of authority on the advantages offered by the special places where they have conducted their research. The zoo, the laboratory, and the field have been major settings for animal behavior studies. The issue of the relative advantages of these different sites has been a (...)
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  33. Frances D. Burton (1977). Ethology and the Development of Sex and Gender Identity in Non-Human Primates. Acta Biotheoretica 26 (1):1-18.
    The current view that behaviour which is manifest in non-human primates forms a baseline for human behaviours is examined with special reference to the development of gender determination. A review of 21 non-human primate societies suggests that the behaviour of the sexes relates to assumption and occupation of societal roles defined by the local group. The significance of these findings for the human condition is discussed.
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  34. Josep Call (2006). Descartes' Two Errors: Reason and Reflection in the Great Apes. In Susan L. Hurley & Matthew Nudds (eds.), Rational Animals? Oxford University Press
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  35. Michael Tomasello & Call & Josep (2006). Do Chimpanzees Know What Others See - or Only What They Are Looking At? In Susan Hurley & Matthew Nudds (eds.), Rational Animals? OUP Oxford
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  36. Peter Carruthers (2008). Meta-Cognition in Animals: A Skeptical Look. Mind and Language 23 (1):58–89.
    This paper examines the recent literature on meta-cognitive processes in non-human animals, arguing that in each case the data admit of a simpler, purely first-order, explanation. The topics discussed include the alleged monitoring of states of certainty and uncertainty, knowledge-seeking behavior in conditions of uncertainty, and the capacity to know whether or not the information needed to solve some problem is stored in memory. The first-order explanations advanced all assume that beliefs and desires come in various different strengths, or degrees.
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  37. Leyre Castro & Edward A. Wasserman (2009). Rats and Infants as Propositional Reasoners: A Plausible Possibility? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (2):203-204.
    Mitchell et al. contemplate the possibility of rats being capable of propositional reasoning. We suggest that this is an unlikely and unsubstantiated possibility. Nonhuman animals and human infants do learn about the contingencies in the world; however, such learning seems not to be based on propositional reasoning, but on more elementary associative processes.
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  38. Nick Chater & Cecilia M. Heyes (1994). Animal Concepts: Content and Discontent. Mind and Language 9 (3):209-246.
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  39. Krzysztof Chodasewicz (2009). Problem zwierzęcej świadomości. Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia (2):67-79.
    The subject of this article is the problem of animal consciousness. Our folk interpretations and explanations of animal behaviour appeal to conscious mental states like e.g. fear or anger. Scholars, however, do not agree as to whether animals do in fact have conscious mental states similar to humans. According to Shettleworth, one may distinguish three positions in relation to this problem: radical opponents of the concept of animal consciousness who claim that animal are not conscious in any interesting sense; sceptics (...)
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  40. Stephen R. L. Clark (2003). Minds and Persons: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement: 53. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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  41. Stephen R. L. Clark (2003). Non-Personal Minds. In Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 185-209.
    Persons are creatures with a range of personal capacities. Most known to us are also people, though nothing in observation or biological theory demands that all and only people are persons, nor even that persons, any more than people, constitute a natural kind. My aim is to consider what non-personal minds are like. Darwin's Earthworms are sensitive, passionate and, in their degree, intelligent. They may even construct maps, embedded in the world they perceive around them, so as to be able (...)
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  42. Simon J. Coghlan, Recognizing Nonhuman Morality.
    Claims that some sorts of genuine moral behavior exist in nonhuman beings are increasingly common. Many people, however, remain unconvinced, despite growing acceptance of the remarkable behavioral complexity of animals and despite the admission that there may be significant differences between human and nonhuman moral behavior. This paper argues that the rejection of “moral animals” is misplaced. Yet at the same time, it attempts to show how the philosophical task of exhibiting the possibility of nonhuman moral behavior is often misguided, (...)
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  43. Patrick W. Colgan (1990). Embattled Ethology. BioScience 40 (2):148-149.
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  44. Richard C. Connor (2007). Dolphin Social Intelligence: Complex Alliance Relationships in Bottlenose Dolphins and a Consideration of Selective Environments for Extreme Brain Size Evolution in Mammals. In Nathan Emery, Nicola Clayton & Chris Frith (eds.), Social Intelligence: From Brain to Culture. OUP Oxford
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  45. R. Cook (1991). The Experimental-Analysis of Cognition in Animals. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 29 (6):512-512.
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  46. Justin J. Couchman, Michael J. Beran, Mariana Vc Coutinho, Joseph Boomer & J. David Smith (2012). Evidence for Animal Metaminds. In Michael Beran, Johannes Brandl, Josef Perner & Joëlle Proust (eds.), The Foundations of Metacognition. Oxford University Press
  47. Roger Crisp (1996). Evolution and Psychological Unity. In Marc Bekoff & Dale W. Jamieson (eds.), Readings in Animal Cognition. MIT Press 309--321.
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  48. Stephen J. Crowley & Colin Allen (2008). Animal Behavior. In Michael Ruse (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press 327--348.
    Few areas of scientific investigation have spawned more alternative approaches than animal behavior: comparative psychology, ethology, behavioral ecology, sociobiology, behavioral endocrinology, behavioral neuroscience, neuroethology, behavioral genetics, cognitive ethology, developmental psychobiology---the list goes on. Add in the behavioral sciences focused on the human animal, and you can continue the list with ethnography, biological anthropology, political science, sociology, psychology (cognitive, social, developmental, evolutionary, etc.), and even that dismal science, economics. Clearly, no reasonable-length chapter can do justice to such a varied collection. We (...)
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  49. Gregory Currie (2006). Rationality, Decentring, and the Evidence for Pretence in Nonhuman Animals. In Susan L. Hurley & Matthew Nudds (eds.), Rational Animals? Oxford University Press
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  50. C. Dennett Daniel (1995). Animal Consciousness: What Matters and Why. Social Research 62 (3).
1 — 50 / 375