David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Behavior and Philosophy 34:89 - 107 (2006)
I analyze the theoretical tenets of early ethology and the criticisms leveled against it from comparative psychology. Early ethology had a clear research object, the study of behavioral adaptedness. Adaptedness was explained by the functional rules and programs that underlie the relation between a given organism and its natural environment (the function cycle). This research object was lost during the redefinition of ethology that took place after the Second World War, a redefinition that led to an emphasis on physiological and evolutionary explanations instead of functional ones. This loss happened because early ethologists did not make their aims sufficiently clear and because of fundamental epistemological and semantic misunderstandings between ethologists and comparative psychologists. I argue that the behavioral explanation of adaptedness is different from both physiological and ecological research and that it needs functional concepts similar to the ones of early ethology. I defend the idea of function cycles and causal centers defined in terms of perceptual selection and behavioral response tendencies and I try to show that these functional concepts may be fruitfully combined with learning theories. I suggest calling this line of research Comparative Behavioral Ethology.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ingo Brigandt (2003). Gestalt Experiments and Inductive Observations: Konrad Lorenz's Early Epistemological Writings and the Methods of Classical Ethology. Evolution and Cognition 9:157–170.
Dale Jamieson & Marc Bekoff (1992). On Aims and Methods of Cognitive Ethology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:110 - 124.
Colin Allen (1992). Mental Content and Evolutionary Explanation. Biology and Philosophy 7 (1):1-12.
Claudia Lorena García (2010). Functional Homology and Functional Variation in Evolutionary Cognitive Science. Biological Theory 5 (2):124-135.
Helen De Cruz (2006). Towards a Darwinian Approach to Mathematics. Foundations of Science 11 (1-2):157-196.
Stephen J. Crowley & Colin Allen (2008). Animal Behavior. In Michael Ruse (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press. 327--348.
G. Thines & R. Zayan (1975). F. J. J. Buytendijk's Contribution to Animal Behaviour: Animal Psychology or Ethology? Acta Biotheoretica 24 (3-4).
Carolyn A. Ristau (1992). Cognitive Ethology: Past, Present and Speculations on the Future. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:125 - 136.
Sean Allen-Hermanson (2005). Morgan's Canon Revisited. Philosophy of Science 72 (4):608-31.
Arno Wouters (1995). Viability Explanation. Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457.
W. H. Dittrich (forthcoming). Book Review of Allen & Bekoff (1997) on Cognitive Ethology. [REVIEW] Philosophical Explorations.
Matthias Scheutz (2001). Ethology and Functionalism: Behavioral Descriptions as the Link Between Physical and Functional Descriptions. Evolution and Cognition 7 (2):164-171.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads4 ( #264,689 of 1,100,115 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #304,144 of 1,100,115 )
How can I increase my downloads?