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Animals, thoughts and concepts

Synthese 123 (1):35-104 (2000)

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  1. Rational Inference: The Lowest Bounds.Cameron Buckner - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):697-724.
  • The Linguistic Determination of Conscious Thought Contents.Agustín Vicente & Marta Jorba - 2017 - Noûs (3):737-759.
    In this paper we address the question of what determines the content of our conscious episodes of thinking, considering recent claims that phenomenal character individuates thought contents. We present one prominent way for defenders of phenomenal intentionality to develop that view and then examine ‘sensory inner speech views’, which provide an alternative way of accounting for thought-content determinacy. We argue that such views fare well with inner speech thinking but have problems accounting for unsymbolized thinking. Within this dialectic, we present (...)
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  • Moving Ourselves, Moving Others: Motion and Emotion in Intersubjectivity, Consciousness, and Language.Andrea Schiavio - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (5):735-739.
  • Nonhuman Animals: Not Necessarily Saints or Sinners.Cheryl E. Abbate - 2014 - Between the Species 17 (1):1-30.
    Higher-order thought theories maintain that consciousness involves the having of higher-order thoughts about mental states. In response to these theories of consciousness, an attempt is often made to illustrate that nonhuman animals possess said consciousness, overlooking an alarming consequence: attributing higher-order thought to nonhuman animals might entail that they should be held morally accountable for their actions. I argue that moral responsibility requires more than higher-order thought: moral agency requires a specific higher-order thought which concerns a belief about the rightness (...)
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  • The Anthropological Difference: What Can Philosophers Do To Identify the Differences Between Human and Non-Human Animals?Hans-Johann Glock - 2012 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 70:105-131.
    This paper considers the question of whether there is a human-animal or ‘anthropological difference'. It starts with a historical introduction to the project of philosophical anthropology. Section 2 explains the philosophical quest for an anthropological difference. Sections 3-4 are methodological and explain how philosophical anthropology should be pursued in my view, namely as impure conceptual analysis. The following two sections discuss two fundamental objections to the very idea of such a difference, biological continuity and Darwinist anti-essentialism. Section 7 discusses various (...)
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  • Thoughts, Motor Actions, and the Self.Gottfried Vosgerau & Albert Newen - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (1):22–43.
    The comparator-model, originally developed to explain motor action, has recently been invoked to explain several aspects of the self. However, in the first place it may not be used to explain a basic self-world distinction because it presupposes one. Our alternative account is based on specific systematic covariation between action and perception. Secondly, the comparator model cannot explain the feeling of ownership of thoughts. We argue—contra Frith and Campbell—that thoughts are not motor processes and therefore cannot be described by the (...)
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  • Can Animals Act For Reasons?Hans-Johann Glock - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):232-254.
    This essay argues that non-linguistic animals qualify not just for externalist notions of rationality (maximizing biological fitness or utility), but also for internal ones. They can act for reasons in several senses: their behaviour is subject to intentional explanations, they can act in the light of reasons - provided that the latter are conceived as objective facts rather than subjective mental states - and they can deliberate. Finally, even if they could not, it would still be misguided to maintain that (...)
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  • Rational Inference: The Lowest Bounds.Cameron Buckner - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:1-28.
    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 (...)
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  • Neo-Pragmatism, Primitive Intentionality and Animal Minds.Laura Danón - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (1):39-58.
    According to Hutto and Satne, 521–536, 2015), an “essential tension” plagues contemporary neo-Pragmatist accounts of mental contents: their explanation of the emergence and constitution of intentional mental contents is circular. After identifying the problem, they also propose a solution: what neo-Pragmatists need to do, to overcome circularity, is to appeal to a primitive content-free variety of intentionality, different from the full-blown intentionality of propositional attitudes. In this paper, I will argue that, in addition to the problem of circularity, there is (...)
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  • Animal Mental Action: Planning Among Chimpanzees.Angelica Kaufmann - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):745-760.
    I offer an argument for what mental action may be like in nonhuman animals. Action planning is a type of mental action that involves a type of intention. Some intentions are the causal mental antecedents of proximal mental actions, and some intentions are the causal mental antecedents of distal mental actions. The distinction between these two types of “plan-states” is often spelled out in terms of mental content. The prominent view is that while proximal mental actions are caused by mental (...)
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  • Seven Misconceptions About the Mereological Fallacy: A Compilation for the Perplexed.Harry Smit & Peter M. S. Hacker - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1077-1097.
    If someone commits the mereological fallacy, then he ascribes psychological predicates to parts of an animal that apply only to the (behaving) animal as a whole. This incoherence is not strictly speaking a fallacy, i.e. an invalid argument, since it is not an argument but an illicit predication. However, it leads to invalid inferences and arguments, and so can loosely be called a fallacy. However, discussions of this particular illicit predication, the mereological fallacy, show that it is often misunderstood. Many (...)
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  • A Representational Account of Self-Knowledge.Albert Newen & Gottfried Vosgerau - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (2):337 - 353.
    Self-knowledge is knowledge of one’s own states (or processes) in an indexical mode of presentation. The philosophical debate is concentrating on mental states (or processes). If we characterize self-knowledge by natural language sentences, the most adequate utterance has a structure like “I know that I am in mental state M”. This common sense characterization has to be developed into an adequate description. In this investigation we will tackle two questions: (i) What precisely is the phenomenon referred to by “self-knowledge” and (...)
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  • Mirror Self‐Recognition and Self‐Identification.Alexandria Boyle - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):284-303.
    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 (...)
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  • Beliefs, Kinds and Rules: A Comment on Kornblith's Knowledge and its Place in Nature. [REVIEW]Martin Kusch - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (2):411–419.
  • Resisting the Disenchantment of Nature: McDowell and the Question of Animal Minds.Carl B. Sachs - 2012 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 55 (2):131-147.
    Abstract McDowell's contributions to epistemology and philosophy of mind turn centrally on his defense of the Aristotelian concept of a ?rational animal?. I argue here that a clarification of how McDowell uses this concept can make more explicit his distance from Davidson regarding the nature of the minds of non-rational animals. Close examination of his responses to Davidson and to Dennett shows that McDowell is implicitly committed to avoiding the following ?false trichotomy?: that animals are not bearers of semantic content (...)
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  • Basic Factive Perceptual Reasons.Ian Schnee - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1103-1118.
    Many epistemologists have recently defended views on which all evidence is true or perceptual reasons are facts. On such views a common account of basic perceptual reasons is that the fact that one sees that p is one’s reason for believing that p. I argue that that account is wrong; rather, in the basic case the fact that p itself is one’s reason for believing that p. I show that my proposal is better motivated, solves a fundamental objection that the (...)
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  • Animal Minds and the Possession of Concepts.Albert Newen & Andreas Bartels - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):283 – 308.
    In the recent literature on concepts, two extreme positions concerning animal minds are predominant: the one that animals possess neither concepts nor beliefs, and the one that some animals possess concepts as well as beliefs. A characteristic feature of this controversy is the lack of consensus on the criteria for possessing a concept or having a belief. Addressing this deficit, we propose a new theory of concepts which takes recent case studies of complex animal behavior into account. The main aim (...)
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  • Do Animals Engage in Conceptual Thought?Jacob Beck - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (3):218-229.
    This paper surveys and evaluates the answers that philosophers and animal researchers have given to two questions. Do animals have thoughts? If so, are their thoughts conceptual? Along the way, special attention is paid to distinguish debates of substance from mere battles over terminology, and to isolate fruitful areas for future research.
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