Morgan’s Canon Revisited

Philosophy of Science 72 (4):608-31 (2005)
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Abstract

The famous ethological maxim known as “Morgan’s Canon” continues to be the subject of interpretive controversy. I reconsider Morgan’s canon in light of two questions: First, what did Morgan intend? Second, is this, or perhaps some re-interpretation of the canon, useful within cognitive ethology? As for the first issue, Morgan’s distinction between higher and lower faculties is suggestive of an early supervenience concept. As for the second, both the canon in its original form, and various recent re-readings, offer nothing useful to cognitive ethology.

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Sean Allen-Hermanson
Florida International University

Citations of this work

Animal Cognition and Human Values.Jonathan Birch - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):1026-1037.
The Varieties of Parsimony in Psychology.Mike Dacey - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (4):414-437.
Models, Mechanisms, and Animal Minds.Colin Allen - 2014 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1):75-97.

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References found in this work

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The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan & Mary Midgley - 1986 - The Personalist Forum 2 (1):67-71.
Mental Events.Donald Davidson - 1970 - In L. Foster & J. W. Swanson (eds.), Experience and Theory. Humanities Press.
Emergent Evolution.C. Lloyd Morgan - 1923 - Mind 32 (128):485-487.
Interpretative cognitive ethology.Hugh T. Wilder - 1996 - In Colin Allen & D. Jamison (eds.), Readings in Animal Cognition. MIT Press. pp. 29--62.

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