My commentary on Hurley is concerned with foundational issues. Hurley's investigation of animal cognition is cast within a particular framework—basically, a philosophically refined version of folk psychology. Her discussion has a complicated relationship to unresolved debates about the nature and status of folk psychology, especially debates about the extent to which folk psychological categories are aimed at picking out features of the causal organization of the mind.
Historians of science have only just begun to sample the wealth of different approaches to the study of animal behavior undertaken in the twentieth century. To date, more attention has been given to Lorenzian ethology and American behaviorism than to other work and traditions, but different approaches are equally worthy of the historian's attention, reflecting not only the broader range of questions that could be asked about animal behavior and the "animal mind" but also the different contexts (...) in which these questions were important. One such approach is that represented by the work of the French zoologist Louis Boutan (1859-1934). This paper explores the intellectual and cultural history of Boutan's work on animal language and the animal mind, and contextualizes the place of animal behavior studies within late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century French biology. I explore the ways in which Boutan addressed the philosophical issue of whether language was necessary for abstract thought and show how he shifted from the idea that animals were endowed with a purely affective language to the notion that of they were capable of "rudimentary" reasoning. I argue that the scientific and broader socio-cultural contexts in which Boutan operated played a role in this transition. Then I show how Boutan's linguistic and psychological experiments with a gibbon and children provide insights into his conception of "naturalness." Although Boutan reared his gibbon at home and studied it in the controlled environment of his laboratory, he continued to identify its behavior as "natural." I specifically demonstrate the importance of the milieu of the French Third Republic in shaping Boutan's understanding not only of animal intelligence and child education, but also his definition of nature. Finally, I argue that Boutan's studies on the primate mind provide us with a lens through which we can examine the co-invention of animal and child psychology in early-twentieth-century France. (shrink)
Most philosophers writing about personal identity in recent years claim that what it takes for us to persist through time is a matter of psychology. In this groundbreaking new book, Eric Olson argues that such approaches face daunting problems, and he defends in their place a radically non-psychological account of personal identity. He defines human beings as biological organisms, and claims that no psychological relation is either sufficient or necessary for an organism to persist. Olson rejects several famous thought-experiments (...) dealing with personal identity. He argues, instead, that one could survive the destruction of all of one's psychological contents and capabilities as long as the human organism remains alive--as long as its vital functions, such as breathing, circulation, and metabolism, continue. (shrink)
F. J. J.Buytendijk died on October 21st 1974 at the age of 87. His important contribution to the study of animal behaviour is analyzed here in relation to the historical development of animalpsychology and ethology. The detailed study of his scientific production suggests, according to the authors, that some important findings, although largely not paid attention to in present-day literature, are akin to the conceptual and methodological evolution of comparative ethology.
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 irony is that debate about such issues has facilitated the participation once more of philosophers in questions concerning experimental psychology: ironic because laboratory-oriented psychologists, especially since the turn of the last century, had been eager to establish the independence of their subject from any influence of philosophy and its investigative methods, as well as from any kind of anthropomorphism.In Britain, certainly more so than in the United States, ethical constraints have prevented the development of psychological research with animals along certain routes. By the 1980s British professional and academic societies had published codes of conduct and guidelines for their members, in part responding to public concern about the welfare of animals in the psychological laboratory. What led to the establishment of these codes and guidelines? This paper analyses the historical background against which professional concern for ethical cost in experimental animalpsychology began to take shape, leading to the societies' open pronouncements of the 1980s. (shrink)
Humans have a folk psychology, without question. Paul Churchland used the term to describe “our commonsense conception of psychological phenomena” (Churchland 1981, p. 67), whatever that may be. When we ask the question whether animals have their own folk psychology, we’re asking whether any other species has a commonsense conception of psychological phenomenon as well. Different versions of this question have been discussed over the past 25 years, but no clear answer has emerged. Perhaps one reason for this (...) lack of progress is that we don’t clearly understand the question. In asking whether animals have folk psychology, I hope to help clarify the concept of folk psychology itself, and in the process, to gain a greater understanding of the role of belief and desire attribution in human social interaction. (shrink)
Moral psychology is often ignored in ethical theory, making applied ethics difficult to achieve in practice. This is particularly true in the new field of animal ethics. One key feature of moral psychology is recognition of the moral primacy of those with whom we enjoy relationships of love and friendship – philia in Aristotles term. Although a radically new ethic for animal treatment is emerging in society, its full expression is severely limited by our exploitative uses (...) of animals. At this historical moment, only the animals with whom we enjoy philia – companion animals – can be treated with unrestricted moral concern. This ought to be accomplished, both for its own sake and as an ideal model for the future evolution of animal ethics. (shrink)
The theory of evolution has beenused in arguments regarding animalexperimentation. Two such arguments areanalyzed, one against and one in favor. Eachargument stresses the relevance of the theoryof evolution to normative ethics but attemptsexplicitly to avoid the so-called naturalisticfallacy.According to the argument against animalexperimentation, the theory of evolution`undermines' the idea of a special humandignity and supports `moral individualism'. Thelatter view implies that if it is wrong to usehumans in experiments, then it is also wrong touse animals, unless there are relevantdifferences between (...) them that justify adifference in treatment. No such differencescan be found with regard to animals which lead`biographical lives'.The argument in favor of animal experimentationis based on evolutionary psychology. It statesthat humans, as all social animals, arespeciesist by nature and stresses that thisshould be taken seriously in normative ethics.This does not mean that animal interests shouldnot be considered, only that vital humaninterests may outweigh them.In order to assess the arguments, one has totake a stand on certain more basic issues: `is'versus `ought', impartiality versus specialobligations, and feelings/intuitions versusreason. Given the author's own position withregard to these more basic considerations, theevolutionary argument in favor of animalexperimentation is judged to be more convincingthan the one against but not decisive. It isalso maintained that not all animal experimentsare acceptable. Which animal experiments areacceptable and which are not has to be decidedon a case-by-case basis. (shrink)
This volume provides a general overview of the basic ethical and philosophical issues of animal rights. It asks questions such as: Do animals have moral rights? If so, what does this mean? What sorts of mental lives do animals have, and how should we understand welfare? By presenting models for understanding animals' moral status and rights, and examining their mental lives and welfare, David DeGrazia explores the implications for how we should treat animals in connection with our diet, zoos, (...) and research. Animal Rights distinguishes itself by combining intellectual rigor with accessibility, offering a distinct moral voice with a non-polemical tone. (shrink)
Nonhuman animals are widely used in psychological research and the level of suffering and death is high. This is usually said to be justified by appealing to the scientific merit of the research. This article looks at notions of scientific merit, queries whether they are as clear-cut as commonly supposed, and argues that with contemporary conceptions it is too easy for any research to count as meritorious. A tightening of the notion of scientific merit is suggested, providing a ground for (...) rejection of certain psychological research. (shrink)
This book distinguishes itself from much of the polemical literature on these issues by offering the most judicious and well-balanced account yet available of animals' moral standing, and related questions concerning their minds and welfare. Transcending jejune debates focused on utilitarianism versus rights, the book offers a fresh methodological approach with specific and constructive conclusions about our treatment of animals. David DeGrazia provides the most thorough discussion yet of whether equal consideration should be extended to animals' interests, and examines the (...) issues of animal minds and animal well-being with an unparalleled combination of philosophical rigor and empirical documentation. His book is an important contribution to the field of animal ethics and will be read with special interest by all philosophers teaching such courses, as well as biologists, those professionally involved with animals, and general readers concerned about animal welfare. (shrink)
The quest for a ``theory of nonhuman minds'''' to assessclaims about the moral status of animals is misguided. Misframedquestions about animal minds facilitate the appropriation ofanimal welfare by the animal user industry. When misframed, thesequestions shift the burden of proof unreasonably to animalwelfare regulators. An illustrative instance of misframing can befound in the US National Research Council''s 1998 publication thatreports professional efforts to define the psychologicalwell-being of nonhuman primates, a condition that the US 1985animal welfare act requires users (...) of primates to promote. Thereport claims that ``psychological well-being'''' is a hypotheticalconstruct whose validity can only be determined by a theory thatdefines its properties and links it to observed data. Thisconception is used to contest common knowledge about animalwelfare by treating psychological well-being as a mentalcondition whose properties are difficult to discover. Thisframework limits regulatory efforts to treat animal subjects lessoppressively and serves the interests of the user industry.A more liberatory framework can be constructed by recognizing thecontested nature of welfare norms, where competing conceptions ofanimal welfare have implications about norm-setting authority, asit does in other regulatory contexts, e.g., food safety. Properlyconceptualized welfare should include both the avoidance ofdistressful circumstances and the relationship between ananimal''s capacities to engage in enjoyable activities and itsopportunities to exercise these capacities. This conception ofanimal welfare avoids appropriation by scientific experts. (shrink)
La autora argumenta que la experiencia de vincularse con un animal desde cierta paridad -como ‘tutor-amigo’ de una mascota-, es una de las experiencias vinculares más significativas en la comunicación humano/animal, y que ella muestra la artificialidad de las barreras que la sociedad erige frente al fenómeno animal. Desarrolla en el artículo el imaginario psico-social en torno a los animales, su investidura significante para la existencia humana, con virtudes elevadas a la vez que como un habitante amenazante (...) para nuestro inconsciente, y advierte sobre el daño psicológico para el ser humano al permitir el abuso de animales. Plantea finalmente que la nueva cosmovisión de la complejidad permite dar espacio a una mirada integradora en un universo de seres vivos. (shrink)
According to higher-order thought accounts of phenomenal consciousness it is unlikely that many non-human animals undergo phenomenally conscious experiences. Many people believe that this result would have deep and far-reaching consequences. More specifically, they believe that the absence of phenomenal consciousness from the rest of the animal kingdom must mark a radical and theoretically significant divide between ourselves and other animals, with important implications for comparative psychology. I shall argue that this belief is mistaken. Since phenomenal consciousness might (...) be almost epiphenomenal in its functioning within human cognition, its absence in animals may signify only relatively trivial differences in cognitive architecture. Our temptation to think otherwise arises partly as a side-effect of imaginative identification with animal experiences, and partly from mistaken beliefs concerning the aspects of common-sense psychology that carry the main explanatory burden, whether applied to humans or to non-human animals. (shrink)
A common view in philosophy is that the way human beings reason is not only gradually better, but that our way of reasoning is fundamentally distinctive. Findings in the psychology of reasoning challenge the traditional view according to which human beings reason in accordance with the laws of logic and probability theory, but rather suggest that human reasoning consists in the application of domain specific rules of thumb similar to those that we ascribe to some intelligent non-human animals as (...) well. However, this view on human reasoning is unable to explain human accomplishments like technological innovations or scientific progress. David Papineau offers a theory of human theoretical rationality that is consistent with the psychological view on human reasoning but that can also explain how humans sometimes are able to transcend the limitations of their biologically quick and dirty modes of thought and thereby reach a high level of accuracy. Papineau claims that the abilities that constitute theoretical rationality are unique to the human species and thus, that human reasoning is fundamentally distinctive after all. In this paper I am going to discuss to what extent these abilities in fact are unique to our species and whether this theoretical rationality can be called an anthropological difference. (shrink)
Abstract Drawing upon evolutionary theory and the work of Daniel Dennett and Nicholas Agar, I offer an argument for broadening discussion of the ethics of disenhancement beyond animal welfare concerns to a consideration of animal “biopreferences”. Short of rendering animals completely unconscious or decerebrate, it is reasonable to suggest that disenhanced animals will continue to have some preferences. To the extent that these preferences can be understood as what Agar refers to as “plausible naturalizations” for familiar moral concepts (...) like beliefs and desires, then they can make moral claims on us and provide support for intuitive opposition to disenhancement. Content Type Journal Article Category Original Paper Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11569-012-0142-6 Authors John Hadley, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney, 7.G.10b, Bankstown Campus, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia Journal NanoEthics Online ISSN 1871-4765 Print ISSN 1871-4757. (shrink)
'the whole work is remarkably fresh, vivid and attractively written psychologists will be grateful that a work of this kind has been done ... by one who has the scholarship, science, and philosophical training that are requisite for the task' - Mind This renowned three-volume collection records chronologically the steps by which psychology developed from the time of the early Greek thinkers and the first writings on the nature of the mind, through to the 1920s and such modern preoccupations (...) as criminal and animalpsychology. It is only in relatively recent times that psychology has been considered an empirical science independent of philosophy. Brett's account is thus concerned with the broadest definition of psychology, taking in such philosophical aspects as the relation of mind and body, thought processes, etc. For each period he gives an account of the state of the sciences which influenced psychology, the state of psychology itself, the influence psychology had on other areas, and the applications of psychological theories. Examining a huge range of figures, he describes their attitudes on fundamental questions and their contribution to the progress of the subject, as well as the history of the different methods of inquiry. The thinkers he discusses range from Aristotle, Democritus, Socrates, Plato, and Xenocrates to Proclus, the Arabian teachers, Magnus, Duns Scotus, and Ockham from Galileo, Descartes, Gassendi, and Cudworth to Locke, Berkeley, Condillac, and Kant from Reid, Stewart, Herbart, and Schopenhauer to Bain, Spencer, Mill and Darwin. Surprisingly clear and easy to read, Brett's account succeeds in illuminating the nature of psychology as well as its history. It remains a classic overview of the subject from its broad roots in philosophy through to the independent empirical science of the modern era. --a scarce work, rarely found as a complete set --a classic work - all historians of psychology and philosophy should have A History of Psychology. (shrink)
Peter Carruthers, a leading philosopher of mind, provides a comprehensive development and defense of one of the guiding assumptions of evolutionary psychology: that the human mind is composed of a large number of semi-independent modules. Written with unusual clarity and directness, and surveying an extensive range of research in cognitive science, it will be essential reading for anyone with an interest in the nature and organization of the mind.
Utilitarianism, the ethical doctrine that holds in its most basic form that right actions are those that maximize pleasure and minimize pain, has been at the center of many of the ethical debates around animal welfare. The most well-known utilitarian of our time, Peter Singer, is widely credited with having sparked the animal welfare movement of the past 35+ years, using utilitarian reasoning to argue against using animals in invasive research that we aren’t willing to perform on humans. (...) Yet many people who have argued for the use of animals in invasive experimentation have also appealed to utilitarian ideas by claiming that insofar as lab animals suffer, the suffering is justified by greater benefits produced via the knowledge gained from research. In this paper, I will examine whether the classical utilitarian prescriptions “maximize pleasure” and “minimize pain” should be treated as equals by the theory and, if not, what the possible implications are for research involving nonhuman animals. -/- The idea that pain has a stronger influence than pleasure is accepted in much of the recent psychology literature on well-being. Some philosophers have also argued that minimizing suffering should play a more important role in ethical theorizing than maximizing pleasure. However, I will argue that neuroscience is uniquely positioned to provide definitive evidence that pleasure and pain are not merely two symmetrical poles of a single scale of experience, but in fact two different types of experiences altogether with dramatically different contributions to our wellbeing. I consider several different conceptions of symmetry, and argue that each is at odds with the most recent empirical results. (shrink)
This collection opens a dialogue between process philosophy and contemporary consciousness studies. Approaching consciousness from diverse disciplinary perspectives—philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, neuropathology, psychotherapy, biology, animal ethology, and physics—the contributors offer empirical and philosophical support for a model of consciousness inspired by the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947). Whitehead’s model is developed in ways he could not have anticipated to show how it can advance current debates beyond well-known sticking points. This has trenchant consequences for epistemology and suggests (...) fresh and promising perspectives on such topics as the mind-body problem, the neurobiology of consciousness, animal consciousness, the evolution of consciousness, panpsychism, the unity of consciousness, epiphenomenalism, free will, and causation. (shrink)
Approaching modern psychology -- Science and faith: learning from the past -- Neuropsychology: linking mind and brain -- Neuropsychology and spiritual experience -- Linking the brain and behavior -- Human nature: biblical and psychological portraits -- Human nature and animal nature: are they different? -- Personology and psychotherapy: confronting the challenges -- Human needs: psychological and theological perspectives -- Consciousness now: a contemporary issue -- Explaining consciousness now: a contemporary issue -- Determinism, freedom, and responsibility -- The future (...) of science and faith: beyond perspectivalism? (shrink)