Animal minds and the possession of concepts

Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):283 – 308 (2007)
In the recent literature on concepts, two extreme positions concerning animal minds are predominant: the one that animals possess neither concepts nor beliefs, and the one that some animals possess concepts as well as beliefs. A characteristic feature of this controversy is the lack of consensus on the criteria for possessing a concept or having a belief. Addressing this deficit, we propose a new theory of concepts which takes recent case studies of complex animal behavior into account. The main aim of the paper is to present an epistemic theory of concepts and to defend a detailed theory of criteria for having concepts. The distinction between nonconceptual, conceptual, and propositional representations is inherent to this theory. Accordingly, it can be reasonably argued that some animals, e.g., grey parrots and apes, operate on conceptual representations.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Lawrence W. Barsalou (1999). Perceptual Symbol Systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.

    View all 18 references

    Citations of this work BETA

    View all 11 citations

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    78 ( #13,984 of 1,088,725 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,725 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.