On the cognitive architecture of insects and other information-processing systems

Análisis Filosófico 28 (1):13-34 (2008)
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According to Carruthers ants and bees have minds. This claim is to be understood realistically. We do not interpret the overt behaviour of ants and bees by ascribing to them beliefs and desires in an instrumental manner. They rather possess minds in the relevant cognitive sense. In this paper, I propose to pave the way for a reductio against such a polemic view. In particular, I shall argue that if ants and bees have minds, by the same token, plants do have minds too. In my view, the problem has to do with Carruthers’ underlying technical concept of cognitive architecture; a concept which, as I shall argue, can be called into question both on empirical and conceptual grounds



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