Erkenntnis 86 (1):171-186 (2021)

Bence Nanay
University of Antwerp
Anthropomorphism is the methodology of attributing human-like mental states to animals. Zoomorphism is the converse of this: it is the attribution of animal-like mental states to humans. Zoomorphism proceeds by first understanding what kind of mental states animals have and then attributing these mental states to humans. Zoomorphism has been widely used as scientific methodology especially in cognitive neuroscience. But it has not been taken seriously as a philosophical explanatory paradigm: as a way of explaining the building blocks of the human mind. The philosophical explanatory paradigm of zoomorphism may not explain all aspects of human behavior, but if we accept the zoomorphic way of thinking about the human mind, we should only posit new, different kinds of mental states if the zoomorphic attribution of animal mental states fails to explain our behavior.
Keywords Anthrophomorphism  Animal mind  Human mind
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-018-0099-0
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Animal Thinking.Donald R. Griffin - 1984 - Harvard University Press.

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