David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Mind and Language 22 (3):270–296 (2007)
Bermúdez (2003) argues that (T1) nonlinguistic creatures can think thoughts about protocausal conditional states of affairs and engage in rudimentary forms of reasoning, but (T2) they cannot ‘in principle’ think thoughts about thoughts (propositions)—in particular, they cannot have higher-order propositional attitudes (PAs). I reconstruct Bermúdez’s argument for T2 and show that it rests upon an implausible empirical assumption and is, therefore, not a threat to current empirical research into nonlinguistic higher-order PAs. I argue that even on an interpretation of the argument that would pose a threat to this research, a parallel argument would seem to disprove T1. Finally, I argue that on an interpretation of Bermúdez’s argument that would not pose a threat to the above empirical research but would still present a significant philosophical thesis about thought and language, the argument either appears to confuse thoughts with their representational vehicles or the representational vehicles of thoughts with those representations used to hold thoughts in mind
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References found in this work BETA
Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2003). Mindreading. An Integrated Account of Pretence, Self-Awareness, and Understanding Other Minds. Oxford University Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1975). The Language of Thought. Harvard University Press.
Stephen M. Kosslyn (1980). Image and Mind. Harvard University Press.
R. W. Byrne & Andrew Whiten (1988). Machiavellian Intelligence: Social Expertise and the Evolution of Intellect in Monkeys, Apes, and Humans. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
José Luis Bermúdez (2011). The Force-Field Puzzle and Mindreading in Non-Human Primates. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):397-410.
Robert W. Lurz (2011). Belief Attribution in Animals: On How to Move Forward Conceptually and Empirically. [REVIEW] Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (1):19-59.
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