Doing away with morgan’s canon

Mind and Language 23 (2):224–246 (2008)
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Abstract

Morgan’s Canon is a very widely endorsed methodological principle in animal psychology, believed to be vital for a rigorous, scientific approach to the study of animal cognition. In contrast I argue that Morgan’s Canon is unjustified, pernicious and unnecessary. I identify two main versions of the Canon and show that they both suffer from very serious problems. I then suggest an alternative methodological principle that captures all of the genuine methodological benefits that Morgan’s Canon can bring but suffers from none of its problems.

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Simon Fitzpatrick
John Carroll University