Observations of animals engaging in apparently moral behavior have led academics and the public alike to ask whether morality is shared between humans and other animals. Some philosophers explicitly argue that morality is unique to humans, because moral agency requires capacities that are only demonstrated in our species. Other philosophers argue that some animals can participate in morality because they possess these capacities in a rudimentary form. Scientists have also joined the discussion, and their views are just as varied as (...) the philosophers’. Some research programs examine whether animals countenance specific human norms, such as fairness. Other research programs investigate the cognitive and affective capacities thought to be necessary for morality. There are two sets of concerns that can be raised by these debates. They sometimes suffer from there being no agreed upon theory of morality and no clear account of whether there is a demarcation between moral and social behavior; that is, they lack a proper philosophical foundation. They also sometimes suffer from there being disagreement about the psychological capacities evident in animals. Of these two sets of concerns—the nature of the moral and the scope of psychological capacities—we aim to take on only the second. In this chapter we defend the claim that animals have three sets of capacities that, on some views, are taken as necessary and foundational for moral judgment and action. These are capacities of care, capacities of autonomy, and normative capacities. Care, we argue, is widely found among social animals. Autonomy and normativity are more recent topics of empirical investigation, so while there is less evidence of these capacities at this point in our developing scientific knowledge, the current data is strongly suggestive. (shrink)
In this essay we discuss recent attempts to analyse the notion of representation, as it is employed in cognitive science, in purely informational terms. In particular, we argue that recent informational theories cannot accommodate the existence of metarepresentations. Since metarepresentations play a central role in the explanation of many cognitive abilities, this is a serious shortcoming of these proposals.
A surge of empirical research demonstrating flexible cognition in animals and young infants has raised interest in the possibility of rational decision‐making in the absence of language. A venerable position, which I here call “Classical Inferentialism”, holds that nonlinguistic agents are incapable of rational inferences. Against this position, I defend a model of nonlinguistic inferences that shows how they could be practically rational. This model vindicates the Lockean idea that we can intuitively grasp rational connections between thoughts by developing the (...) Davidsonian idea that practical inferences are at bottom categorization judgments. From this perspective, we can see how similarity‐based categorization processes widely studied in human and animal psychology might count as practically rational. The solution involves a novel hybrid of internalism and externalism: intuitive inferences are psychologically rational (in the explanatory sense) given the intensional sensitivity of the similarity assessment to the internal structure of the agent's reasons for acting, but epistemically rational (in the justificatory sense) given an ecological fit between the features matched by that assessment and the structure of the agent's environment. The essay concludes by exploring empirical results that show how nonlinguistic agents can be sensitive to these similarity assessments in a way that grants them control over their opaque judgments. (shrink)
Intuitively, choices seem to be intentional actions but it is difficult to see how they could be. If our choices are all about weighing up reasons then there seems no room for an additional intentional act of choice. Richard Holton has suggested a solution to this puzzle, which involves thinking of choices in a two systems of cognition framework. Holton’s suggestion does solve the puzzle, but has some unsatisfactory consequences. This paper wants to take over the important insights from Holton (...) on the phenomenology of choice and the possible explanation via a two systems framework, but wants to suggest an alternative more satisfactory account. This account is built around the idea that choices are what Pamela Hieronymi calls managerial acts. After developing the claim the paper then defends it against the objection that managerial control cannot be understood in a system1 context, by examining recent research on uncertainty monitoring and early forms of metacognition. (shrink)
_Animal Constructions and Technological Knowledge_ is Ashley Shew’s debut monograph and in it she argues that we need to reassess and possibly even drastically change the way in which we think about and classify the categories of technology, tool use, and construction behavior. Drawing from the fields of anthropology, animal studies, and philosophy of technology and engineering, Shew demonstrates that there are several assumptions made by researchers in all of these fields—assumptions about intelligence, intentionality, creativity and the capacity for novel (...) behavior. (shrink)
That great apes are the only primates to recognise their reflections is often taken to show that they are self-aware—however, there has been much recent debate about whether the self-awareness in question is psychological or bodily self-awareness. This paper argues that whilst self-recognition does not require psychological self-awareness, to claim that it requires only bodily self-awareness would leave something out. That is that self-recognition requires ‘objective self-awareness’—the capacity for first person thoughts like ‘that's me’, which involve self-identification and so are (...) vulnerable to error through misidentification. This objective self-awareness is distinct from bodily or psychological self-awareness, requires cognitive sophistication and provides the beginnings of a more conceptual self-representation which might play a role in planning, mental time travel and theory of mind. (shrink)
Mind is seen as a collection of abilities to take decisions in biologically relevant situations. Mind shaping means to form habits and decision rules of how to proceed in a given situation. Problem-specific decision rules constitute a modular mind; adaptive mind-shaping is likely to be module-specific. We present examples from different behaviour ‘faculties’ throughout the animal kingdom, grouped according to important mind-shaping factors to illustrate three basically different mind-shaping processes: external stimuli guide the differentiation of a nervous structure that controls (...) a given behaviour; information comes in to direct a fixed behaviour pattern to its biological goal, or to complete an inherited behaviour program; specific stimuli activate or inactivate a pre-programmed behaviour. Mind-shaping phenomena found in the animal kingdom are suggested as ‘null-hypotheses’ when looking at how human minds might be shaped. (shrink)
We propose a quantum curiosity algorithm as a means to implement quantum thinking into AI, and we illustrate 5 new quantum curiosity types. We then introduce 6 new hybrid quantum curiosity types combining animal and plant curiosity elements with biomimicry beyond human sensing. We then introduce 4 specialized quantum curiosity types, which incorporate quantum thinking into coding frameworks to radically transform problem-solving and discovery in science, medicine, and systems analysis. We conclude with a forecasting of the future of quantum thinking (...) in AI and illustrate an example of how to apply the new curiosity types: General Collaborative Networks. (shrink)