On Aims and Methods of Cognitive Ethology

PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:110-124 (1992)
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Abstract

In 1963 Niko Tinbergen published a paper, "On Aims and Methods of Ethology," dedicated to his friend Konrad Lorenz. Here Tinbergen defines ethology as "the biological study of behavior," and seeks to demonstrate "the close affinity between Ethology and the rest of Biology." Tinbergen identifies four major areas of ethology: causation, survival value, evolution, and ontogeny. Our goal is to attempt for cognitive ethology what Tinbergen succeeded in doing for ethology: to clarify its aims and methods, to distinguish some of its varieties, and to defend the fruitfulness of the research strategies that it has spawned

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Dale Jamieson
New York University

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