About this topic
Summary The topic of Animal Minds is a broad interdisciplinary area with contributions by philosophers, psychologists, behavioral biologists, neuroscientists, and anthropologists. Because the notion of "mind" predates science and because the scientific definition of "cognition" is itself contested, the exact range of capacities attributable to animals and capable of empirical investigation is also contested, but these capacities include general reasoning, reasoning in specific domains such as causal inference or social hierarchies, tool use, problem solving, communicative and proto-linguistic abilities, episodic and semantic memory, spatial navigation (including cognitive maps), metacognition, self-recognition and self-awareness, and various capacities related to social cognition such as "mind reading" or "theory of mind", imitation and emulation.  Questions about the existence, distribution and forms of animal consciousness, along with feelings, emotions and affective states such as pain, are also debated in this area. All of these topics also bear on the moral status of animals, both as subjects of moral concern and possibly as moral agents themselves. Comparative approaches to animal mind and cognition have contributed importantly to debates about evolution.
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  1. Against Neo-Cartesianism: Neurofunctional Resilience and Animal Pain.Phil Halper, Kenneth Williford, David Rudrauf & Perry N. Fuchs - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (4):474-501.
    Several influential philosophers and scientists have advanced a framework, often called Neo-Cartesianism (NC), according to which animal suffering is merely apparent. Drawing upon contemporary neuroscience and philosophy of mind, Neo-Cartesians challenge the mainstream position we shall call Evolutionary Continuity (EC), the view that humans are on a nonhierarchical continuum with other species and are thus not likely to be unique in consciously experiencing negative pain affect. We argue that some Neo-Cartesians have misconstrued the underlying science or tendentiously appropriated controversial views (...)
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  2. Global Workspace Theory and Animal Consciousness.Jonathan Birch - forthcoming - Philosophical Topics.
    Carruthers has recently argued for a surprising conditional: if a global workspace theory of phenomenal consciousness is both correct and fully reductive, then there are no substantive facts to discover about phenomenal consciousness in non-human animals. I present two problems for this conditional. First, it rests on an odd double-standard about the ordinary concept of phenomenal consciousness: its intuitive non-gradability is taken to be unchallengeable by future scientific developments, whereas its intuitive determinacy is predicted to fall by the wayside. Second, (...)
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  3. The First Minds: Caterpillars, ‘Karyotes and Consciousness. Miller Jr - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (2):322-325.
  4. The Indeterminacy of Plant Consciousness.C. Maher - 2021 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 28 (1-2):136-154.
    Are plants conscious? Most knowledgeable people say they aren't. A small minority say they are. Others say we don't know. Virtually all assume the predicate '– is conscious' is fully determinate; plants are or aren't in its extension. Appealing to Mark Wilson's work on predicates and concepts, I challenge that assumption, proposing that the predicate isn't determinate for plants. I offer the start of an explanation for why this is so. We tacitly rely on many empirical correlations when we correctly (...)
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  5. Human Beings Among the Beasts.Andrew M. Bailey & Alexander R. Pruss - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    In this article, we develop and defend a new argument for animalism -- the thesis that we human persons are human animals. The argument takes this rough form: since our pets are animals, we are too. We’ll begin with remarks on animalism and its rivals, develop our main argument, and then defend it against a few replies.
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  6. Postscript: Human Uniqueness in a Comparative Perspective.Louise Röska-Hardy - 2008 - In Louise Röska-Hardy & Eva Neumann-Held (eds.), Learning from animals? Examining the nature of human uniqueness. Hove, UK: pp. 209-210.
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  7. The Missing Link Between Memory and Reinforcement Learning.Christian Balkenius, Trond A. Tjøstheim, Birger Johansson, Annika Wallin & Peter Gärdenfors - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Reinforcement learning systems usually assume that a value function is defined over all states that can immediately give the value of a particular state or action. These values are used by a selection mechanism to decide which action to take. In contrast, when humans and animals make decisions, they collect evidence for different alternatives over time and take action only when sufficient evidence has been accumulated. We have previously developed a model of memory processing that includes semantic, episodic and working (...)
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  8. Minds Without Spines: Evolutionarily Inclusive Animal Ethics.Irina Mikhalevich - 2020 - Animal Sentience 29 (1).
    Invertebrate animals are frequently lumped into a single category and denied welfare protections despite their considerable cognitive, behavioral, and evolutionary diversity. Some ethical and policy inroads have been made for cephalopod molluscs and crustaceans, but the vast majority of arthropods, including the insects, remain excluded from moral consideration. We argue that this exclusion is unwarranted given the existing evidence. Anachronistic readings of evolution, which view invertebrates as lower in the scala naturae, continue to influence public policy and common morality. The (...)
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  9. Enigmas of Reason.B. Voorhees - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (9-10):228-251.
    What is human reason, how did it arise, how is it connected to animal reason? In The Enigma of Reason (ER) Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber (2017) suggest that reason evolved driven by the need to support communication and coordination in small human groups. They contrast this to the idea that the function of reason is to enable humans to make better decisions and develop more accurate beliefs. After a summation of the ER argument, the theory is critiqued and two (...)
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  10. 4E Cognition in the Lower Palaeolithic: An Introduction.Thomas Wynn, Karenleigh Anne Overmann & Lambros Malafouris - forthcoming - Adaptive Behavior:99-106.
    This essay introduces a special issue focused on 4E cognition (cognition as embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended) in the Lower Palaeolithic. In it, we review the typological and representational cognitive approaches that have dominated the past fifty years of paleoanthropology. These have assumed that all representations and computations take place only inside the head, which implies that the archaeological record can only be an “external” product or the behavioral trace of “internal” representational and computational processes. In comparison, the 4E approach (...)
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  11. Animals and Cartesian Consciousness: Pardies Vs. The Cartesians.Evan Thomas - 2020 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 2 (1):11.
    The Cartesian view that animals are automata sparked a major controversy in early modern European philosophy. This paper studies an early contribution to this controversy. I provide an interpretation of an influential objection to Cartesian animal automatism raised by Ignace-Gaston Pardies (1636–1673). Pardies objects that the Cartesian arguments show only that animals lack ‘intellectual perception’ but do not show that animals lack ‘sensible perception.’ According to Pardies, the difference between these two types of perception is that the former is reflexive (...)
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  12. Beyond the Human Standard in the Cognitive Domain: A Reply to Rodriguez' “Cognition Beyond the Human Domain”.Carrie Figdor - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (8):1204-1208.
    In "Cognition Beyond the Human Domain", Angel Garcia Rodriguez provides critical commentary on Pieces of Mind: The proper domain of psychological predicates (Oxford UP, 2018). In this reply, I argue that his alternative "No-Core" semantic proposal is not an alternative to the Literalist view I defend, but rather one way of elaborating that position.
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  13. Problems with Basing Insect Ethics on Individuals’ Welfare.Susana Monsó & Antonio José Osuna Mascaró - 2020 - Animal Sentience 29 (8).
    In their target article, Mikhalevich & Powell (M&P) argue that we should extend moral protection to arthropods. In this commentary, we show that there are some unforeseen obstacles to applying the sort of individualistic welfare-based ethics that M&P have in mind to certain arthropods, namely, insects. These obstacles have to do with the fact that there are often many more individuals involved in our dealings with insects than our ethical theories anticipate, and also with the fact that, in some sense, (...)
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  14. Pieces of Mind: The Proper Domain of Psychological Predicates: Figdor, Carrie, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, Pp. X + 220, £40 (Hardback). [REVIEW]Simon Fitzpatrick - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):410-413.
    Volume 98, Issue 2, June 2020, Page 410-413.
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  15. Mind and Brain: A Dialogue on the Mind-Body Problem, 2nd Edition.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2020 - Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co..
    In this introductory work, Mind and Brain: A Dialogue on the Mind-Body Problem, 2nd edition, Gennaro updates and expands the work to reflect current topics and discussions. The dialogue provides a clear and compelling overview of the mind-body problem suitable for both introductory students and those who have some background in the philosophy of mind. Topics include: Immortality, Materialism, Descartes' "Divisibility Argument" for substance dualism, The "Argument from Introspection" for substance dualism, The main objections to dualism, The interaction between mind (...)
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  16. Was ist der Mensch? Ein Streifzug durch die philosophische Anthropologie.Geert Keil - 2020 - In Ulrich Lüke & Georg Souvignier (eds.), Der Mensch – ein Tier. Und sonst? Interdisziplinäre Annäherungen. Freiburg: Herder. pp. 19-44.
    1. Die Frage nach der Natur des Menschen und die Rede vom „Menschenbild“ 2. Die anthropologischen Definitionsformeln 3. Die Zuständigkeitsfrage 4. Die abenteuerliche Kürze der Definitionsformeln 5. Der Mensch-Tier-Vergleich 6. Warum sollte die menschliche Natur unwandelbar sein? 7. Kategorische und graduelle Unterschiede 8. Ausblick: Die Transformationsthese.
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  17. Locating Animals with Respect to Landmarks in Space-Time.Hunter Gentry & Cameron Buckner - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42.
    Landmarks play a crucial role in bootstrapping both spatial and temporal cognition. Given the similarity in the underlying demands of representing spatial and temporal relations, we ask here whether animals can be trained to reason about temporal relations by providing them with temporal landmark cues, proposing a line of future research complementary to those suggested by the authors.
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  18. Stefanie Buchenau and Roberto Lo Presti, eds.: Human and Animal Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy and Medicine, University of Pittsburg Press, Pittsburgh, 2017, 354 pp., ISBN: 978-0-8229-4472-0. [REVIEW]Sara Ray - 2019 - Journal of the History of Biology 52 (2):359-360.
  19. Beliefs Concerning the Nature of Consciousness.J. A. Reggia, D. W. Huang & G. Katz - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (5-6):146-171.
    The opinions that people hold about the nature of consciousness are important not only to researchers in philosophy and science, but also in many professional fields such as clinical medicine, law, and education. However, in spite of this importance and how controversial the topic is, there is remarkably little empirical data concerning what these opinions are. Here we describe the results of a multi-year survey of university students concerning their beliefs about the nature of consciousness and about what entities are (...)
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  20. Chimpanzees and Sign Language: Darwinian Realities Versus Cartesian Delusions. Fouts & McKenna - 2011 - The Pluralist 6 (3):19.
    Dr. Fouts began his lecture with the story of how he and his wife Deborah became involved with Washoe—the first non-human to acquire the signs of American Sign Language (ASL). Project Washoe began in 1966 with Drs. Allen and Beatrix Gardner in Reno, Nevada. There had been other experiments that attempted to get chimpanzees to speak. These experiments were not successful due to anatomical and neurological differences between humans and chimpanzees. (Fouts showed some video of the chimpanzee Vicki trying to (...)
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  21. Breathing New Life Into Cognitive Science.Tom Froese - 2011 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 2 (1):113–129.
    In this article I take an unusual starting point from which to argue for a unified cognitive science, namely a position defined by what is sometimes called the ‘life-mind continuity thesis’. Accordingly, rather than taking a widely accepted starting point for granted and using it in order to propose answers to some well defined questions, I must first establish that the idea of life-mind continuity can amount to a proper starting point at all. To begin with, I therefore assess the (...)
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  22. Folk Psychology Under Stress: Comments on Susan Hurley’s ”Animal Action in the Space of Reasons’.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2003 - Mind and Language 18 (3):266-272.
    : 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.
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  23. Making Sense of Animals: Interpretation Vs. Architecture.Susan Hurley - 2003 - Mind and Language 18 (3):273-280.
    i>: We should not overintellectualize the mind. Nonhuman animals can occupy islands of practical rationality: they can have specific, context-bound reasons for action even though they lack full conceptual abilities. Holism and the possibility of mistake are required for such reasons to be the agent’s reasons, but these requirements can be met in the absence of inferential promiscuity. Empirical work with animals is used to illustrate the possibility that reasons for action could be bound to symbolic or social contexts, and (...)
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  24. Hominization and Apes: An Unnatural Kinship.Frédéric Joulian - 1997 - Diogenes 45 (180):73-96.
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  25. Introduction: Animal Beliefs, Concepts, and Communication.Achim Stephan - 1999 - Erkenntnis 51 (1):505-510.
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  26. Studying the Cognitive States of Animals: Epistemology, Ethology and Ethics.Otto Lehto - 2009 - Sign Systems Studies 37 (3/4):369-420.
    The question of cognitive endowment in animals has been fiercely debated in the scientific community during the last couple of decades, and indeed, all throughout the long history of natural philosophy. The scientific quest for an empirical, evolutionary account of the development and emergence of cognition has met with many philosophical objections, blind alleys and epistemological quandaries. I will argue that we are dealing with conflicting philosophical world views as well as conflicting empirical paradigms of research. After looking at some (...)
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  27. Rethinking Associations in Psychology.Mike Dacey - 2016 - Synthese 193 (12):3763-3786.
    I challenge the dominant understanding of what it means to say two thoughts are associated. The two views that dominate the current literature treat association as a kind of mechanism that drives sequences of thought. The first, which I call reductive associationism, treats association as a kind of neural mechanism. The second treats association as a feature of the kind of psychological mechanism associative processing. Both of these views are inadequate. I argue that association should instead be seen as a (...)
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  28. VIII.—Anthropomorphism and Truth.J. B. Baillie - 1918 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 18 (1):185-223.
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  29. A Description of the Cerebral Convolutions of the Chimpanzee Known as "Sally"; with Notes on the Convolutions of Other Chimpanzees and of Two Orangs.No Authorship Indicated - 1895 - Psychological Review 2 (2):195-196.
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  30. Abnormal Animal Behavior and Conflict.F. W. Finger - 1945 - Psychological Review 52 (4):230-233.
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  31. Uncle Rhesus, Auntie Pachyderm, and Mom: All Sorts and Kinds of Mothering.Dana Raphael - 1969 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 12 (2):290-297.
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  32. Apes, Men and Morons.R. M. W. Travers - 1938 - The Eugenics Review 30 (2):143.
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  33. Men and Apes.Herbert Brewer - 1966 - The Eugenics Review 58 (3):162.
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  34. Chimpanzees Are Always New to Me.Toshisada Nishida - 1993 - In Peter Singer & Paola Cavalieri (eds.), The Great Ape Project. St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 24--27.
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  35. 2 Life and Cognition.Margaret Boden - 2001 - In João Branquinho (ed.), The Foundations of Cognitive Science. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 11.
  36. Animal Behavior in Four Components.B. W. Mel - 1995 - In H. Roitblat & Jean-Arcady Meyer (eds.), Comparative Approaches to Cognitive Science. MIT Press.
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  37. Comparing Cognition in Animals, and Researchers.Dario Maestripieri - 2001 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 5 (10):452-453.
  38. Spontaneous Number Discrimination of Multi-Format Auditory Stimuli in Cotton-Top Tamarins.Marc D. Hauser, Stanislas Dehaene, Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz & Andrea L. Patalano - 2002 - Cognition 86 (2):B23-B32.
  39. Comprehension of Sentences by Bottlenosed Dolphins.Louis M. Herman, Douglas G. Richards & James P. Wolz - 1984 - Cognition 16 (2):129-219.
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  40. Signing Behavior in Apes: A Critical Review.Mark S. Seidenberg & Laura A. Petitto - 1979 - Cognition 7 (2):177-215.
  41. Representations in Animal Cognition: An Introduction.C. R. Gallistel - 1990 - Cognition 37 (1-2):1-22.
  42. On Thoughts Without Words.N. Goodman - 1982 - Cognition 12 (2):211-217.
  43. Levels of Causal Understanding in Chimpanzees and Children.David Premack & Ann James Premack - 1994 - Cognition 50 (1-3):347-362.
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  44. Artifactual Kinds and Functional Design Features: What a Primate Understands Without Language.Marc D. Hauser - 1997 - Cognition 64 (3):285-308.
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  45. Segmentation of the Speech Stream in a Non-Human Primate: Statistical Learning in Cotton-Top Tamarins.Marc D. Hauser, Elissa L. Newport & Richard N. Aslin - 2001 - Cognition 78 (3):B53-B64.
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  46. The Gestural Abilities of Apes.Suzanne Chevalier-Skolnikoff - 1979 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2 (3):382-383.
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  47. Animal Well-Being: There Are Many Paths to Enlightenment.Evalyn F. Segal - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):36-37.
  48. Animals, Science, and Morality.R. G. Frey - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):22-22.
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  49. The Significance of Seeking the Animal's Perspective.Arnold Arluke - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):13-14.
  50. Ethics and Animals.Peter Singer - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):45-48.
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