Cognitive Ethology: Past, Present and Speculations on the Future

PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:125 - 136 (1992)
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Cognitive ethology began with Donald R. Griffin's 1976 publication of The Question of Animal Awareness. More recently mutual influences can be found between cognitive ethology and comparative, developmental, experimental and cognitive psychology and philosophy of science and of mind. Present scientific work emphasizes: 1) animal cognitive capacities including discrimination, categorization, spatial knowledge, predator/prey relations such as "injury feigning" by birds, deception and attribution of intention, 2) communication, both natural systems and artificial "language" and cognition projects undertaken with apes, birds, and sea mammals and 3) the possibility of animal consciousness. For the future, one hopes for developments in those areas, more field research, conceptual and methodological bridges to other disciplines, and philosophical work on the theoretical foundations of cognitive ethology and naturalizing intentionality.



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