Why we can’t say what animals think

Philosophical Psychology 26 (4):520–546 (2013)
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Abstract

Realists about animal cognition confront a puzzle. If animals have real, contentful cognitive states, why can’t anyone say precisely what the contents of those states are? I consider several possible resolutions to this puzzle that are open to realists, and argue that the best of these is likely to appeal to differences in the format of animal cognition and human language.

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Jacob Beck
York University

Citations of this work

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Faith and resilience.Daniel Howard-Snyder & Daniel J. McKaughan - 2022 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion (3).
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How to ascribe beliefs to animals.Albert Newen & Tobias Starzak - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (1):3-21.

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References found in this work

The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.

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