The Animal Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animal Cognition

The Animal Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animal Cognition

Kristin Andrews

Language: English

Pages: 359

ISBN: 0415809606

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The study of animal cognition raises profound questions about the minds of animals and philosophy of mind itself. Aristotle argued that humans are the only animal to laugh, but in recent experiments rats have also been shown to laugh. In other experiments, dogs have been shown to respond appropriately to over two hundred words in human language.

In this introduction to the philosophy of animal minds Kristin Andrews introduces and assesses the essential topics, problems and debates as they cut across animal cognition and philosophy of mind.

She addresses the following key topics:
• What is cognition, and what is it to have a mind?
• What questions should we ask to determine whether behaviour has a cognitive basis?
• The science of animal minds explained: ethology, behaviourist psychology, and cognitive ethology rationality in animals animal consciousness: what does research into pain and the emotions reveal?
• What can empirical evidence about animal behaviour tell us about philosophical theories of consciousness?
• Does animal cognition involve belief and concepts; Do animals have a Language of Thought?
• Animal communication other minds: Do animals attribute mindedness to other creatures?

Extensive use of empirical examples and case studies is made throughout the book. These include Cheney and Seyfarth s ververt monkey research, Thorndike s cat puzzle boxes, Jensen s research into humans and chimpanzees and the ultimatum game, Pankseep and Burgdorf s research on rat laughter, and Clayton and Emery s research on memory in scrub-jays.

Additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of mind, animal cognition. It will also be an excellent resource for those in fields such as ethology, biology and psychology."

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Monkeys and parrots might be near-persons, too. Near-persons don’t construct self-narratives, but they can engage in past and future thinking— Tulving’s mental time travel. This ability is significant because it allows an individual to consciously re-experience events and to make and accomplish future plans, which in turn gives her more opportunity for happiness (re-experiencing pleasurable experiences and fulfilling plans) and unhappiness (dreading unpleasant experiences and failing to achieve.

Knowledge systems (Carey 2009). The core cognition concepts are largely shared between infants and animals. The development of the concepts of knowledge systems is a cultural process, and the concepts that are held depends on the nature of one’s culture. Carey argues that in order to understand the origin of concepts, we must understand how they develop in children, how they evolved, and their distribution among species. This requires doing the epistemic work Allen advocates and determining which.

Exist in a community in which the members ascribe beliefs to another. For this reason, Davidson thinks that “a creature cannot have thoughts unless it is an interpreter of the speech of another” (Davidson 1975, 9). Davidson motivates this idea by suggesting that to have a belief one must have a concept of belief, which includes understanding that beliefs are the sorts of things that are true or false. After all, you can’t believe that P without also believing that P is true, which requires having.

The information transmission model is focused on sequential transmission and turn taking, the dynamical model focuses on coordination of simultaneous movements between the COMMUNICATION 121 communicative partners (Shanker and King 2002). In their defense of the dynamical systems approach to studying ape communication, Shanker and King endorse the psychologist Alan Fogel’s definition of communication as a “continuous unfolding of individual action that is susceptible to being continuously.

Dog guarding his food than when they hear a recording of a dog growling at a stranger (Faragó et al. 2010). Prairie dogs have alarm calls for hawks, humans, dogs and coyotes, and respond to the alarm calls the same way they respond to seeing members of those species (Kiriazis and Slobodchikoff 2006), and the alarm calls may be modified depending on the individual properties of the predator (Slobodchikoff et al. 2009). Meerkats have alarm calls that simultaneously indicate predator type and the.

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