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  1. Disagreement & classification in comparative cognitive science.Alexandria Boyle - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Comparative cognitive science often involves asking questions like ‘Do nonhumans have C?’ where C is a capacity we take humans to have. These questions frequently generate unproductive disagreements, in which one party affirms and the other denies that nonhumans have the relevant capacity on the basis of the same evidence. I argue that these questions can be productively understood as questions about natural kinds: do nonhuman capacities fall into the same natural kinds as our own? Understanding such questions in this (...)
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  2. Are humans the only rational animals?Giacomo Melis & Susana Monsó - 2023 - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    While growing empirical evidence suggests a continuity between human and non-human psychology, many philosophers still think that only humans can act and form beliefs rationally. In this paper, we challenge this claim. We first clarify the notion of rationality. We then focus on the rationality of beliefs and argue that, in the relevant sense, humans are not the only rational animals. We do so by first distinguishing between unreflective and reflective responsiveness to epistemic reasons in belief formation and revision. We (...)
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  3. Tracing the origins of consciousness.Jorge Morales - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (4):767-771.
    Darwin’s theory is often illustrated with depictions of different finch beaks or with lined-up skeletons displaying subtle bone-structure changes throughout evolutionary history. In The Deep Histor...
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  4. Integrating Evolution into the Study of Animal Sentience.Walter Veit - 2022 - Animal Sentience 32 (30):1-4.
    Like many others, I see Crump et al. (2022) as a milestone for improving upon previous guidelines and for extending their framework to decapod crustaceans. Their proposal would benefit from a firm evolutionary foundation by adding the comparative measurement of life-history complexity as a ninth criterion for attributing sentience to nonhuman animals.
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  5. Logic and the boundaries of animal mentality.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2023 - In Christoph C. Pfisterer, Nicole Rathgeb & Eva Schmidt (eds.), Wittgenstein and Beyond: Essays in Honour of Hans-Johann Glock. London: Routledge. pp. 243-253.
    I try to identify elements of our mental capacities that separate us from animals. I focus on our command of logical concepts, demonstrable already in children in the second or third year of their life, which to date no animal has been shown to master. I draw various conclusions about the behavioural, intellectual, emotional, and moral capacities that depend on this mastery, and discuss recent empirical research that either supports or apparently disagrees with the claim that animals, even those we (...)
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  6. Book Review: Peter Godfrey-Smith, Metazoa: Animal minds and the birth of consciousness. [REVIEW]Venkat Ramanan - 2022 - Newtown Review of Books 2022.
    In this book, the author investigates if animals have consciousness. Two salient issues covered in it are the nature of subjectivity and how a sense of self (and awareness of the other) evolves from its biological underpinnings.
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  7. Como Atribuir Consciência aos Animais.Victor Machado Barcellos - 2022 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal Do Rio de Janeiro
    Os debates sobre a existência da consciência em animais não humanos vêm ganhando cada vez mais destaque nos círculos científicos e filosóficos ao redor do mundo. Um importante empecilho que a área atualmente enfrenta diz respeito à construção de um método confiável capaz de identificar se um determinado animal não humano possui estados mentais conscientes. A literatura nomeia essa questão de “o problema da mensuração da consciência animal”. A presente dissertação possui como objetivo analisar e responder esse problema através da (...)
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  8. How to Tell If Animals Can Understand Death.Susana Monsó - 2019 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):117-136.
    It is generally assumed that humans are the only animals who can possess a concept of death. However, the ubiquity of death in nature and the evolutionary advantages that would come with an understanding of death provide two prima facie reasons for doubting this assumption. In this paper, my intention is not to defend that animals of this or that nonhuman species possess a concept of death, but rather to examine how we could go about empirically determining whether animals can (...)
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  9. Beyond black dots and nutritious things: A solution to the indeterminacy problem.Marc Artiga - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (3):471-490.
    The indeterminacy problem is one of the most prominent objections against naturalistic theories of content. In this essay I present this difficulty and argue that extant accounts are unable to solve it. Then, I develop a particular version of teleosemantics, which I call ’explanation-based teleosemantics’, and show how this outstanding problem can be addressed within the framework of a powerful naturalistic theory.
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  10. The Moral Addressor Account of Moral Agency.Dorna Behdadi - manuscript
    According to the practice-focused approach to moral agency, a participant stance towards an entity is warranted by the extent to which this entity qualifies as an apt target of ascriptions of moral responsibility, such as blame. Entities who are not eligible for such reactions are exempted from moral responsibility practices, and thus denied moral agency. I claim that many typically exempted cases may qualify as moral agents by being eligible for a distinct participant stance. When we participate in moral responsibility (...)
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  11. Review of "How to Study Animal Minds". [REVIEW]Irina Mikhalevich - 2021 - BJPS Review of Books.
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  12. Minimal Organizational Requirements for the Ascription of Animal Personality to Social Groups.Hilton F. Japyassú, Lucia C. Neco & Nei Nunes-Neto - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Recently, psychological phenomena have been expanded to new domains, crisscrossing boundaries of organizational levels, with the emergence of areas such as social personality and ecosystem learning. In this contribution, we analyze the ascription of an individual-based concept (personality) to the social level. Although justified boundary crossings can boost new approaches and applications, the indiscriminate misuse of concepts refrains the growth of scientific areas. The concept of social personality is based mainly on the detection of repeated group differences across a population, (...)
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  13. Affective Sentience and Moral Protection.Rachell Powell & Irina Mikhalevich - 2021 - Animal Sentience 29 (35).
    We have structured our response according to five questions arising from the commentaries: (i) What is sentience? (ii) Is sentience a necessary or sufficient condition for moral standing? (iii) What methods should guide comparative cognitive research in general, and specifically in studying invertebrates? (iv) How should we balance scientific uncertainty and moral risk? (v) What practical strategies can help reduce biases and morally dismissive attitudes toward invertebrates?
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  14. Animal cognition.Kristin Andrews & Susana Monsó - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Philosophical attention to animals can be found in a wide range of texts throughout the history of philosophy, including discussions of animal classification in Aristotle and Ibn Bâjja, of animal rationality in Porphyry, Chrysippus, Aquinas and Kant, of mental continuity and the nature of the mental in Dharmakīrti, Telesio, Conway, Descartes, Cavendish, and Voltaire, of animal self-consciousness in Ibn Sina, of understanding what others think and feel in Zhuangzi, of animal emotion in Śāntarakṣita and Bentham, and of human cultural uniqueness (...)
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  15. How dogs perceive humans and how humans should treat their pet dogs: Linking cognition with ethics.Judith Benz-Schwarzburg, Susana Monsó & Ludwig Huber - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Humans interact with animals in numerous ways and on numerous levels. We are indeed living in an “animal”s world,’ in the sense that our lives are very much intertwined with the lives of animals. This also means that animals, like those dogs we commonly refer to as our pets, are living in a “human’s world” in the sense that it is us, not them, who, to a large degree, define and manage the interactions we have with them. In this sense, (...)
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  16. What should we do about sheep? The role of intelligence in welfare considerations.Heather Browning - 2019 - Animal Sentience 4 (25):23.
    Marino & Merskin (2019) demonstrate that sheep are more cognitively complex than typically thought. We should be cautious in interpreting the implications of these results for welfare considerations to avoid perpetuating mistaken beliefs about the moral value of intelligence as opposed to sentience. There are, however, still important ways in which this work can help improve sheeps’ lives.
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  17. Consider the agent in the arthropod.Nicolas Delon, Peter Cook, Gordon Bauer & Heidi Harley - 2020 - Animal Sentience 29 (32).
    —Commentary on Mikhalevich and Powell on invertebrate minds.— Whether or not arthropods are sentient, they can have moral standing. Appeals to sentience are not necessary and retard progress in human treatment of other species, including invertebrates. Other increasingly well-documented aspects of invertebrate minds are pertinent to their welfare. Even if arthropods are not sentient, they can be agents whose goals—and therefore interests—can be frustrated. This kind of agency is sufficient for moral status and requires that we consider their welfare.
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  18. The Animal Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animal Cognition, Second Edition.Kristin Andrews - 2020 - New York: Routledge.
    The philosophy of animal minds addresses profound questions about the nature of mind and the relationships between humans and other animals. In this fully revised and updated introductory text, Kristin Andrews introduces and assesses the essential topics, problems, and debates as they cut across animal cognition and philosophy of mind, citing historical and cutting-edge empirical data and case studies throughout. The second edition includes a new chapter on animal culture. There are also new sections on the evolution of consciousness and (...)
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  19. Reasoning of non- and pre-linguistic creatures: How much do the experiments tell us?Sanja Sreckovic - 2018 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 31:115-126.
    If a conclusion was reached that creatures without a language capability exhibit some form of a capability for logic, this would shed a new light on the relationship between logic, language, and thought. Recent experimental attempts to test whether some animals, as well as pre-linguistic human infants, are capable of exclusionary reasoning are taken to support exactly that conclusion. The paper discusses the analyses and conclusions of two such studies: Call’s (2004) two cups task, and Mody and Carey’s (2016) four (...)
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  20. A Kantian Account of Animal Cognition.Michael Pendlebury - 2017 - Philosophical Forum 48 (4):369-393.
    Kant holds that “on the basis of their actions” we can infer that “animals act in accordance with representations” (Critique of the Power of Judgment, 5: 464, fn.). Animals, like humans, have the powers of sensibility, imagination and choice, but lack the human powers of understanding, reason and free choice. They also lack first-person representation, consciousness, concepts and inner sense. Nevertheless, animals have an analog of reason that involves connections of representations that explain their behavior. Kant cannot call such connections (...)
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  21. What is cognition? angsty monism, permissive pluralism(s), and the future of cognitive science.Cameron Buckner & Ellen Fridland - 2017 - Synthese (11):4191-4195.
  22. Kristin Andrews. The Animal Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animal Cognition. Reviewed by.Thomas Johnson - 2015 - Philosophy in Review 35 (3):124-126.
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  23. Animal Cognition: Theory and Evidence: Review of Species of Mind: The Philosophy and Biology of Cognitive Ethology by Colin Allen and Marc Bekoff. [REVIEW]William Robinson - 1998 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 4.
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  24. Review of Colin Allen and Marc Bekoff: Species of Mind: The Philosophy and Biology of Cognitive Ethology[REVIEW]Gary Purpura & Richard Samuels - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (2):375-380.
  25. A sound approach to the study of culture.L. G. Barrett-Lennard, V. B. Deecke, H. Yurk & J. K. B. Ford - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2):325-326.
    Rendell and Whitehead's thorough review dispels notions that culture is an exclusive faculty of humans and higher primates. We applaud the authors, but differ with them regarding the evolution of cetacean culture, which we argue resulted from the availability of abundant but spatially and temporally patchy prey such as schooling fish. We propose two examples of gene-culture coevolution: (1) acoustic abilities and acoustic traditions, and (2) transmission of environmental information and longevity.
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  26. Sacrileges are welcome in science! Opening a discussion about culture in animals.Christophe Boesch - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2):327-328.
    The sacrilegious proposition of the existence of cultures in whales and dolphins should open the discussion of cultures in other animals, allowing us to find what is unique in human cultures. The ethnographic approach used by all anthropologists is the key in this investigation and revealed that cultural differences are present in animals and could result from different learning mechanisms.
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  27. A cross-species perspective on the selfishness axiom.Sarah F. Brosnan & Frans B. M. de Waal - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (6):818-818.
    Henrich et al. describe an innovative research program investigating cross-cultural differences in the selfishness axiom (in economic games) in humans, yet humans are not the only species to show such variation. Chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys show signs of deviating from the standard self-interest paradigm in experimental settings by refusing to take foods that are less valuable than those earned by conspecifics, indicating that they, too, may pay attention to relative gains. However, it is less clear whether these species also show (...)
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  28. Communicative cultures in cetaceans: Big questions are unanswered, functional analyses are needed.Todd M. Freeberg - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2):334-334.
    Demonstrating cetacean communicative cultures requires documenting vocal differences among conspecific groups that are socially learned and stable across generations. Evidence to date does not provide strong scientific support for culture in cetacean vocal systems. Further, functional analyses with playbacks are needed to determine whether observed group differences in vocalizations are meaningful to the animals themselves.
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  29. The role of information and replication in selection processes.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):538-538.
    Hull et al. argue that information and replication are both essential ingredients in any selection process. But both information and replication are found in only some selection processes, and should not be included in abstract descriptions of selection intended to help researchers discover and describe selection processes in new domains.
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  30. Behavioral left-right asymmetry extends to arthropods.Boudewijn Adriaan Heuts & Tibor Brunt - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):601-602.
    We present behavioral lateralizations of spiders and ants and their probable survival value. They clearly conform to the vertebrate lateralizations reviewed by Vallortigara & Rogers and to earlier arthropod studies. We suggest two complementary reviews: differences in lesion susceptibility and muscle strength between left and right body side, and perceptual biases and predator inspection in invertebrates.
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  31. At last: Serious consideration.David L. Hull, Rodney E. Langman & Sigrid S. Glenn - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):559-569.
    For a long time, several natural phenomena have been considered unproblematically selection processes in the same sense of “selection.” In our target article we dealt with three of these phenomena: gene-based selection in biological evolution, the reaction of the immune system to antigens, and operant learning. We characterize selection in terms of three processes (variation, replication, and environmental interaction) resulting in the evolution of lineages via differential replication. Our commentators were largely supportive with respect to variation and environmental interaction but (...)
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  32. Unity in the wild variety of nature, or just variety?I. C. Mcmanus - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):606-608.
    Although there are some common underlying mechanisms for many nonhuman behavioural asymmetries, the evidence at present is not compelling for commonalities in cerebral organisation across vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis of detour behaviour in fish suggests that more closely related species are not particularly similar in the direction of turning; contingency and demands of ecological niches may better explain such asymmetries.
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  33. Parallels and contrasts with primate cultural research.Robert C. O'Malley - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2):349-349.
    The types of cetacean cultural behavior patterns described (primarily food-related and communication-related) reflect a very different research focus than that found in primatology, where dietary variation and food processing is emphasized and other potentially patterns have (until recently) been relatively neglected. The lack of behavioral research in all but a few cetacean species is also notable, as it mirrors a bias in primatology towards only a few genera.
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  34. Darwin's mistake: Explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds.Derek C. Penn, Keith J. Holyoak & Daniel J. Povinelli - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (2):109-130.
    Over the last quarter century, the dominant tendency in comparative cognitive psychology has been to emphasize the similarities between human and nonhuman minds and to downplay the differences as (Darwin 1871). In the present target article, we argue that Darwin was mistaken: the profound biological continuity between human and nonhuman animals masks an equally profound discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. To wit, there is a significant discontinuity in the degree to which human and nonhuman animals are able to approximate (...)
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  35. Darwin's triumph: Explaining the uniqueness of the human mind without a deus ex Machina.Derek C. Penn, Keith J. Holyoak & Daniel J. Povinelli - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (2):153-178.
    In our target article, we argued that there is a profound functional discontinuity between the cognitive abilities of modern humans and those of all other extant species. Unsurprisingly, our hypothesis elicited a wide range of responses from commentators. After responding to the commentaries, we conclude that our hypothesis lies closer to Darwin's views on the matter than to those of many of our contemporaries.
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  36. Folk Physics for Apes: The Chimpanzee’s Theory of How the World Works.Daniel Povinelli - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    From an early age, humans know a surprising amount about basic physical principles, such as gravity, force, mass, and shape. We can see this in the way that young children play, and manipulate objects around them. The same behaviour has long been observed in primates - chimpanzees have been shown to possess a remarkable ability to make and use simple tools. But what does this tell us about their inner mental state - do they therefore share the same understanding to (...)
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  37. A whale of a tale: Calling it culture doesn't help.David Premack & Marc D. Hauser - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2):350-351.
    We argue that the function of human culture is to clarify what people value. Consequently, nothing in cetacean behavior (or any other animal's behavior) comes remotely close to this aspect of human culture. This does not mean that the traditions observed in cetaceans are uninteresting, but rather, that we need to understand why they are so different from our own.
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  38. Culture in whales and dolphins.Luke Rendell & Hal Whitehead - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2):309-324.
    Studies of animal culture have not normally included a consideration of cetaceans. However, with several long-term field studies now maturing, this situation should change. Animal culture is generally studied by either investigating transmission mechanisms experimentally, or observing patterns of behavioural variation in wild populations that cannot be explained by either genetic or environmental factors. Taking this second, ethnographic, approach, there is good evidence for cultural transmission in several cetacean species. However, only the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops) has been shown experimentally to (...)
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  39. Uncertainty monitoring may promote emergents.Duane M. Rumbaugh, Michael J. Beran & James L. Pate - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (3):353-353.
    We suggest that the phenomenon of uncertainty monitoring in nonhuman animals contributes richly to the conception of nonhuman animals' self-monitoring. We propose that uncertainty may play a role in the emergence of new forms of behavior that are adaptive. We recommend that Smith et al. determine the extent to which the uncertain response transfers immediately to other test paradigms.
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  40. Great ape communication: Cognitive and evolutionary approaches.Anne E. Russon & David R. Begun - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (5):638-638.
    There are good arguments for examining great ape communicative achievements for what they contribute to our understanding of great ape cognition and its evolution (Russon & Begun, in press a). Our concern is whether Shanker & King's (S&K's) thesis advances communication studies from a broader cognitive and evolutionary perspective.
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  41. Cognition and communication in culture's evolutionary landscape.Mark Schaller - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):748-749.
    Atran & Norenzayan's (A&N's) analysis fits with other perspectives on evoked culture: Cultural beliefs might emerge simply from the fact that people share a common cognitive architecture. But no perspective on culture can be complete without incorporating the unstoppable role of communication. The evolutionary landscape of culture will be most completely mapped by theories that describe specifically how communication translates evolved cognitive canals into cultural beliefs.
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  42. If we could talk to the animals.Michael Siegal & Rosemary Varley - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (2):146-147.
    The thesis of discontinuity between humans and nonhumans requires evidence from formal reasoning tasks that rules out solutions based on associative strategies. However, insightful problem solving can be often credited through talking to humans, but not to nonhumans. We note the paradox of assuming that reasoning is orthogonal to language and enculturation while employing the criterion of using language to compare what humans and nonhumans know.
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  43. Getting at animal culture: The interface of experimental and ethnographic evidence in dolphins.Alain J.-P. C. Tschudin - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2):357-358.
    While supporting the claim for culture in cetaceans, I suggest that Rendell and Whitehead's argument is potentially incomplete if based solely on ethnographic evidence. The notion of cetacean culture can also be explored experimentally. I hope to complement the authors' assertion by discussing dolphin brain and behavioural research findings, thus contributing to a more holistic argument for culture in dolphins.
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  44. Blind men, elephants, and dancing information processors.Chris Westbury - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (5):645-646.
    Whatever else language may be, it is complex and multifaceted. Shanker & King (S&K) have tried to contrast a dynamic interactive view of language with an information processing view. I take issue with two main claims: first, that the dynamic interactive view of language is a “new paradigm” in either animal research or human language studies; and second, that the dynamic systems language-as-dance view of language is in any way incompatible with an information-processing view of language. That some information is (...)
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  45. Interventionist theories of causation in psychological perspective.Jim Woodward - 2007 - In Alison Gopnik & Laura Schulz (eds.), Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy, and Computation. Oxford University Press. pp. 19--36.
Animal Communication
  1. The Evolutionary Foundations of Common Ground.Josh Armstrong - forthcoming - In Bart Geurts & Richard Moore (eds.), Evolutionary Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.
    (Penultimate Draft). I consider common ground in its evolutionary context and argue for several claims. First, common ground is widely (though not universally) distributed among social animals. Second, the use of common ground is favored (i.e. is predicted to emerge and subsequently persist) among populations of animals whose members face recurrent interdependent decision-making problems in which the benefit of their courses of action are contingent on the variable choices of their stable social partner(s). Third, humans deploy cognitive and social mechanisms (...)
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  2. Luck and the Value of Communication.Megan Hyska - 2023 - Synthese 201 (96):1-19.
    Those in the Gricean tradition take it that successful human communication features an audience who not only arrives at the intended content of the signal, but also recognizes the speaker’s intention that they do so. Some in this tradition have also argued that there are yet further conditions on communicative success, which rule out the possibility of communicating by luck. Supposing that both intention-recognition and some sort of anti-luck condition are correctly included in an analysis of human communication, this article (...)
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  3. How to do things with nonwords: pragmatics, biosemantics, and origins of language in animal communication.Dorit Bar-On - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-25.
    Recent discussions of animal communication and the evolution of language have advocated adopting a ‘pragmatics-first’ approach, according to which “a more productive framework” for primate communication research should be “pragmatics, the field of linguistics that examines the role of context in shaping the meaning of linguistic utterances”. After distinguishing two different conceptions of pragmatics that advocates of the pragmatics-first approach have implicitly relied on, I argue that neither conception adequately serves the purposes of pragmatics-first approaches to the origins of human (...)
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  4. Communication before communicative intentions.Josh Armstrong - 2021 - Noûs 57 (1):26-50.
    This paper explores the significance of intelligent social behavior among non-human animals for philosophical theories of communication. Using the alarm call system of vervet monkeys as a case study, I argue that interpersonal communication (or what I call “minded communication”) can and does take place in the absence of the production and recognition of communicative intentions. More generally, I argue that evolutionary theory provides good reasons for maintaining that minded communication is both temporally and explanatorily prior to the use of (...)
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  5. Communication as Socially Extended Active Inference: An Ecological Approach to Communicative Behavior.Rémi Tison & Pierre Poirier - 2021 - Ecological Psychology 34.
    In this paper, we introduce an ecological account of communication according to which acts of communication are active inferences achieved by affecting the behavior of a target organism via the modification of its field of affordances. Constraining a target organism’s behavior constitutes a mechanism of socially extended active inference, allowing organisms to proactively regulate their inner states through the behavior of other organisms. In this general conception of communication, the type of cooperative communication characteristic of human communicative interaction is a (...)
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