Animal Mental Action: Planning Among Chimpanzees

Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):745-760 (2015)
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I offer an argument for what mental action may be like in nonhuman animals. Action planning is a type of mental action that involves a type of intention. Some intentions are the causal mental antecedents of proximal mental actions, and some intentions are the causal mental antecedents of distal mental actions. The distinction between these two types of “plan-states” is often spelled out in terms of mental content. The prominent view is that while proximal mental actions are caused by mental states with nonconceptual content, distal mental actions are caused by mental states with conceptual content. I argue that, when we are investigating animal cognition, we need a nonconceptual account for the content of intentions involved in mental actions such as action planning: non-immediate intentions. This in order to defend the claim that creatures that lack conceptual capacities are capable of entertaining plan-states, and thus of exercising mental agency in the form of action planning



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Action.George Wilson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Science, Perception and Reality.Wilfrid Sellars (ed.) - 1963 - New York,: Humanities Press.

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