Synthese 123 (1):35-104 (2000)
There are three main positions on animalthought: lingualism denies that non-linguistic animalshave any thoughts; mentalism maintains that theirthoughts differ from ours only in degree, due totheir different perceptual inputs; an intermediateposition, occupied by common sense and Wittgenstein,maintains that animals can have thoughts of a simplekind. This paper argues in favor of an intermediateposition. It considers the most important arguments infavor of lingualism, namely those inspired byDavidson: the argument from the intensional nature ofthought (Section 1); the idea that thoughts involveconcepts (Sections 2–3); the argument from the holisticnature of thought (Section 4); and the claim that beliefrequires the concept of belief (Sections 5–6). The lastargument (which Davidson favors) is uncompelling, butthe first three shed valuable light on the extent towhich thought requires language. However, none of themprecludes animals from having simple thoughts. Even ifone adopts the kind of third-person perspective onthought Davidson shares with Wittgenstein, the resultis a version of the intermediate position, albeit oneenriched by Davidson''s insights concerningintensionality, concepts and holism (Section 7). We canonly ascribe simple thoughts to animals, and even thatascription is incongruous in that the rich idiom weemploy has conceptual connections that go beyond thephenomena to which it is applied
|Keywords||Animal Concept Metaphysics Thought Davidson, D Wittgenstein|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Thoughts, Motor Actions, and the Self.Gottfried Vosgerau & Albert Newen - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (1):22–43.
Animal Minds and the Possession of Concepts.Albert Newen & Andreas Bartels - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):283 – 308.
Seven Misconceptions About the Mereological Fallacy: A Compilation for the Perplexed.Harry Smit & Peter M. S. Hacker - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1077-1097.
Can Animals Act For Reasons?Hans-Johann Glock - 2009 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):232-254.
Similar books and articles
The Argument From 'Surprise!'.Derek J. Ettinger - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 6:133-138.
Thought, Language, and Animals.Hans-Johann Glock - 2006 - In Michael Kober (ed.), Grazer Philosophische Studien. Rodopi. pp. 139-160.
Are Concepts Mental Representations or Abstracta?John Sutton - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):89-108.
Some More Thoughts About Thought and Talk: Davidson and Fellows on Animal Belief.David Beisecker - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (1):115-124.
Animals, Consciousness, and I-Thoughts.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2009 - In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. pp. 184--200.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads235 ( #15,709 of 2,177,988 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #39,649 of 2,177,988 )
How can I increase my downloads?