Brutes believe not

Philosophical Psychology 1 (3):279-294 (1988)
Abstract Is it plausible to claim (some) non?human animals have beliefs, on the (non?behaviourist) assumption that believing is or involves subjects? engaging in practical reasoning which takes account of meanings? Some answer Yes, on the ground that evolutionary continuities linking humans with other animals must include psychological ones. But (1) evolution does not operate?even primarily?by means of continuities. Thus species, no matter how closely related (in fact, sometimes even conspecifics) operate with very different adaptive ?tricks'; and it is plausible to think these, rather than the physiological ?groundings? underlying them, are the best means of (analogies for) explaining beliefs. Also (2) it is reasonable to assimilate most cases ?down? to creatures (e.g. flies) that obviously lack beliefs rather than ?up? to others (chimpanzees) that apparently possess belief?like states (proto?beliefs), because observation shows the internal workings of such middle animals? ?beliefs? differ markedly from the corresponding things humans do. For example, ducks do not have beliefs about the numbers of objects, because although they estimate numerically, they do it in a way that is much more firmly connected to perceiving than would be the case either with counting or a counting?like process
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515088808572945
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,422
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Manuel Bremer (2007). Methodologische Überlegungen zu tierischen Überzeugungen / Methodological Reflections on Exploring Beliefs in Animals. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (2):347 - 355.
Leslie F. Stevenson (2002). Six Levels of Mentality. Philosophical Explorations 5 (2):105-124.
Manuel Bremer (2007). Methodologische Überlegungen Zu Tierischen Überzeugungen. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (2):347-355.
Barbara Winters (1983). Inferring. Philosophical Studies 44 (2):201 - 220.
Ralph Wedgwood (2011). Primitively Rational Belief-Forming Processes. In Andrew Reisner & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Reasons for Belief. Cambridge University Press. pp. 180--200.
David Owens (2009). Freedom and Practical Judgement. In Lucy O'Brien & Matthew Soteriou (eds.), Mental Actions. Oxford University Press.
Toshihiko Ise (2008). Hume's Animal and Situated Human Reason. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 16:141-147.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

14 ( #312,996 of 1,924,768 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,315 of 1,924,768 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.