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  1. How to Tell If Animals Can Understand Death.Susana Monsó - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    It is generally assumed that humans are the only animals who can possess a concept of death. However, the ubiquity of death in nature and the evolutionary advantages that would come with an understanding of death provide two prima facie reasons for doubting this assumption. In this paper, my intention is not to defend that animals of this or that nonhuman species possess a concept of death, but rather to examine how we could go about empirically determining whether animals can (...)
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Animal Communication
  1. What Does It Mean to Be Human, and Not Animal? Examining Montaigne’s Literary Persuasiveness in “Man is No Better Than the Animals”.Rory Collins - 2018 - Sloth: A Journal of Emerging Voices in Human-Animal Studies 4 (1).
    Michel de Montaigne famously argued in “Man is No Better Than the Animals” that humans and non-human animals cannot be dichotomized based on language or reasoning abilities, among other characteristics. This article examines a selection of writing features at play in the text and discusses how successfully they convey Montaigne’s claims. Throughout, I argue that Montaigne presents a superficially convincing case for doubting a categorical distinction between humans and animals on linguistic and rational grounds through the use of rhetorical questions, (...)
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  2. What Frege Asked Alex the Parrot: Inferentialism, Number Concepts, and Animal Cognition.Erik Nelson - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (2):206-227.
    While there has been significant philosophical debate on whether nonlinguistic animals can possess conceptual capabilities, less time has been devoted to considering 'talking' animals, such as parrots. When they are discussed, their capabilities are often downplayed as mere mimicry. The most explicit philosophical example of this can be seen in Brandom's frequent comparisons of parrots and thermostats. Brandom argues that because parrots (like thermostats) cannot grasp the implicit inferential connections between concepts, their vocal articulations do not actually have any conceptual (...)
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  3. Pragmatic Interpretation and Signaler-Receiver Asymmetries in Animal Communication.Dorit Bar-On & Richard Moore - 2017 - In Kristin Andrews Jacob Beck (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds. Routledge. pp. 291-300.
    Researchers have converged on the idea that a pragmatic understanding of communication can shed important light on the evolution of language. Accordingly, animal communication scientists have been keen to adopt insights from pragmatics research. Some authors couple their appeal to pragmatic aspects of communication with the claim that there are fundamental asymmetries between signalers and receivers in non-human animals. For example, in the case of primate vocal calls, signalers are said to produce signals unintentionally and mindlessly, whereas receivers are thought (...)
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  4. Gricean Communication and Cognitive Development.Richard Moore - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267).
    On standard readings of Grice, Gricean communication requires (a) possession of a concept of belief, (b) the ability to make complex inferences about others’ goal-directed behaviour, and (c) the ability to entertain fourth order meta-representations. To the extent that these abilities are pre-requisites of Gricean communication they are inconsistent with the view that Gricean communication could play a role in their development. In this paper, I argue that a class of ‘minimally Gricean acts’ satisfy the intentional structure described by Grice, (...)
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  5. Production and Comprehension of Gestures Between Orang-Utans (Pongo Pygmaeus) in a Referential Communication Game.Richard Moore, Josep Call & Michael Tomasello - 2015 - PLoS ONE:pone.0129726.
    Orang-utans played a communication game in two studies testing their ability to produce and comprehend requestive pointing. While the ‘communicator’ could see but not obtain hidden food, the ‘donor’ could release the food to the communicator, but could not see its location for herself. They could coordinate successfully if the communicator pointed to the food, and if the donor comprehended his communicative goal and responded pro-socially. In Study 1, one orang-utan pointed regularly and accurately for peers. However, they responded only (...)
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  6. Signaling Without Cooperation.Marc Artiga - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):357-378.
    Ethological theories usually attribute semantic content to animal signals. To account for this fact, many biologists and philosophers appeal to some version of teleosemantics. However, this picture has recently came under attack: while mainstream teleosemantics assumes that representational systems must cooperate, some biologists and philosophers argue that in certain cases signaling can evolve within systems lacking common interest. In this paper I defend the standard view from this objection.
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  7. The Animal Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animal Cognition.Kristin Andrews - 2014 - Routledge.
    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 (...)
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  8. Teleosemantics and Pushmi-Pullyu Representations.Marc Artiga - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):1-22.
    One of the main tenets of current teleosemantic theories is that simple representations are Pushmi-Pullyu states, i.e. they carry descriptive and imperative content at the same time. In the paper I present an argument that shows that if we add this claim to the core tenets of teleosemantics, then (1) it entails that, necessarily, all representations are Pushmi-Pullyu states and (2) it undermines one of the main motivations for the Pushmi-Pullyu account.
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  9. Interpreting the Baboon. [REVIEW]Kristin Andrews - 2008 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):5-6.
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  10. Confronting Language, Representation, and Belief: A Limited Defense of Mental Continuity.Kristin Andrews & Ljiljana Radenovic - 2012 - In Todd Shackelford & Jennifer Vonk (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Evolutionary Psychology. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 39-60.
    According to the mental continuity claim (MCC), human mental faculties are physical and beneficial to human survival, so they must have evolved gradually from ancestral forms and we should expect to see their precursors across species. Materialism of mind coupled with Darwin’s evolutionary theory leads directly to such claims and even today arguments for animal mental properties are often presented with the MCC as a premise. However, the MCC has been often challenged among contemporary scholars. It is usually argued that (...)
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  11. Kanzi, Evolution, and Language.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (4):577-88.
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  12. From Biosemiotics to Semiotics (Biosemiotics Gatherings 2002).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    Biosemiotics and Semiotics have similarities and differences. Both deal with signal and meaning. One difference is that Biosemiotics covers a domain (life) that is less complex that the one addressed by Semiotics (human). We believe that this difference can be used to have Biosemiotics bringing added value to Semiotics. This belief is based on the fact that a theory of meaning is easier to build up for living elements than for humans, and that the results obtained for life can make (...)
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  13. Symbols Are Not Uniquely Human.Sidarta Ribeiro, Angelo Loula, Ivan Araújo, Ricardo Gudwin & Joao Queiroz - 2006 - Biosystems 90 (1):263-272.
    Modern semiotics is a branch of logics that formally defines symbol-based communication. In recent years, the semiotic classification of signs has been invoked to support the notion that symbols are uniquely human. Here we show that alarm-calls such as those used by African vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops), logically satisfy the semiotic definition of symbol. We also show that the acquisition of vocal symbols in vervet monkeys can be successfully simulated by a computer program based on minimal semiotic and neurobiological constraints. (...)
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Animal Culture
  1. Tactful Animals: How the Study of Touch Can Inform the Animal Morality Debate.Susana Monsó & Birte Wrage - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    In this paper, we argue that scientists working on the animal morality debate have been operating with a narrow view of morality that prematurely limits the variety of moral practices that animals may be capable of. We show how this bias can be partially corrected by paying more attention to the touch behaviours of animals. We argue that a careful examination of the ways in which animals engage in and navigate touch interactions can shed new light on current debates on (...)
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Animal Mental Representation
  1. Can Informational Theories Account for Metarepresentation?Miguel Ángel Sebastián & Marc Artiga - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):81-94.
    In this essay we discuss recent attempts to analyse the notion of representation, as it is employed in cognitive science, in purely informational terms. In particular, we argue that recent informational theories cannot accommodate the existence of metarepresentations. Since metarepresentations play a central role in the explanation of many cognitive abilities, this is a serious shortcoming of these proposals.
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  2. Es Pot Naturalitzar la Intencionalitat?Marc Artiga - 2016 - Quaderns de Filosofia 3 (2).
    Intentionality is a central feature of our understanding of the world. We daily attribute intentional states (like beliefs, desires or perceptual states) to explain the behavior of other agents, and many theories appeal to them to understand more complex notions. Nonetheless, intentional states are puzzling entities. This article explains what intentionality is and why it is so important and problematic at the same time. Secondly, it examines various naturalistic theories, which seek to show that intentionality is compatible with a scientific (...)
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  3. Zoomorphism.Bence Nanay - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-16.
    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 (...)
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  4. Deception: A Functional Account.Marc Artiga & Cédric Paternotte - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):579-600.
    Deception has recently received a significant amount of attention. One of main reasons is that it lies at the intersection of various areas of research, such as the evolution of cooperation, animal communication, ethics or epistemology. This essay focuses on the biological approach to deception and argues that standard definitions put forward by most biologists and philosophers are inadequate. We provide a functional account of deception which solves the problems of extant accounts in virtue of two characteristics: deceptive states have (...)
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  5. Learning and Selection Processes.Marc Artiga - 2010 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 25 (2):197-209.
    In this paper I defend a teleological explanation of normativity, i. e., I argue that what an organism is supposed to do is determined by its etiological function. In particular, I present a teleological account of the normativity that arises in learning processes, and I defend it from some objections.
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  6. Liberal Representationalism: A Deflationist Defense.Marc Artiga - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (3):407-430.
    The idea that only complex brains can possess genuine representations is an important element in mainstream philosophical thinking. An alternative view, which I label ‘liberal representationalism’, holds that we should accept the existence of many more full-blown representations, from activity in retinal ganglion cells to the neural states produced by innate releasing mechanisms in cognitively unsophisticated organisms. A promising way of supporting liberal representationalism is to show it to be a consequence of our best naturalistic theories of representation. However, several (...)
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  7. Beyond Assimilationism and Differentialism. Comment on Glock.Keil Geert - 2012 - In Julian Nida-Rümelin Elif Özmen (ed.), Welt der Gründe. pp. 914-922.
    In a number of articles, Hans-Johann Glock has argued against the »lingualist« view that higher mental capacities are a prerogative of language-users. He has defended the »assimilationist« claim that the mental capacities of humans and of non-human animals differ only in degree. In the paper under discussion, Glock argues that animals are capable of acting for reasons, provided that reasons are construed along the lines of the new »objectivist« theory of practical reasons.
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  8. Signaling Without Cooperation.Marc Artiga - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):357-378.
    Ethological theories usually attribute semantic content to animal signals. To account for this fact, many biologists and philosophers appeal to some version of teleosemantics. However, this picture has recently came under attack: while mainstream teleosemantics assumes that representational systems must cooperate, some biologists and philosophers argue that in certain cases signaling can evolve within systems lacking common interest. In this paper I defend the standard view from this objection.
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  9. Teleosemantics and Pushmi-Pullyu Representations.Marc Artiga - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):1-22.
    One of the main tenets of current teleosemantic theories is that simple representations are Pushmi-Pullyu states, i.e. they carry descriptive and imperative content at the same time. In the paper I present an argument that shows that if we add this claim to the core tenets of teleosemantics, then (1) it entails that, necessarily, all representations are Pushmi-Pullyu states and (2) it undermines one of the main motivations for the Pushmi-Pullyu account.
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Animal Metacognition
  1. Can Informational Theories Account for Metarepresentation?Miguel Ángel Sebastián & Marc Artiga - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):81-94.
    In this essay we discuss recent attempts to analyse the notion of representation, as it is employed in cognitive science, in purely informational terms. In particular, we argue that recent informational theories cannot accommodate the existence of metarepresentations. Since metarepresentations play a central role in the explanation of many cognitive abilities, this is a serious shortcoming of these proposals.
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  2. Animal Moral Psychologies.Susana Monsó & Kristin Andrews - forthcoming - In John M. Doris & Manuel Vargas (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Observations of animals engaging in apparently moral behavior have led academics and the public alike to ask whether morality is shared between humans and other animals. Some philosophers explicitly argue that morality is unique to humans, because moral agency requires capacities that are only demonstrated in our species. Other philosophers argue that some animals can participate in morality because they possess these capacities in a rudimentary form. Scientists have also joined the discussion, and their views are just as varied as (...)
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Animal Moral Cognition
  1. Tactful Animals: How the Study of Touch Can Inform the Animal Morality Debate.Susana Monsó & Birte Wrage - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    In this paper, we argue that scientists working on the animal morality debate have been operating with a narrow view of morality that prematurely limits the variety of moral practices that animals may be capable of. We show how this bias can be partially corrected by paying more attention to the touch behaviours of animals. We argue that a careful examination of the ways in which animals engage in and navigate touch interactions can shed new light on current debates on (...)
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  2. Re-Framing the Debate Over Animal Morality.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2020 - EurSafe Newsletter 22 (1):3-6.
    Is morality uniquely human or does morality exist in at least some non-human animals? Are animals full-fledged moral creatures or do they merely exhibit proto-morality—evolutionary building blocks or precursors to morality, but not quite the genuine article? Such questions, prompted by remarkable advances in empirical research into the social and emotional lives of non-human animals, have aroused much recent interest amongst scientists, philosophers, and in the popular media, not least for their apparent bearing on questions of human uniqueness, evolution, and (...)
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  3. Animal Moral Psychologies.Susana Monsó & Kristin Andrews - forthcoming - In John M. Doris & Manuel Vargas (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Observations of animals engaging in apparently moral behavior have led academics and the public alike to ask whether morality is shared between humans and other animals. Some philosophers explicitly argue that morality is unique to humans, because moral agency requires capacities that are only demonstrated in our species. Other philosophers argue that some animals can participate in morality because they possess these capacities in a rudimentary form. Scientists have also joined the discussion, and their views are just as varied as (...)
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  4. Normative Practices of Other Animals.Sarah Vincent, Rebecca Ring & Kristin Andrews - 2018 - In Aaron Zimmerman, Karen Jones & Mark Timmons (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology. New York: pp. 57-83.
    Traditionally, discussions of moral participation – and in particular moral agency – have focused on fully formed human actors. There has been some interest in the development of morality in humans, as well as interest in cultural differences when it comes to moral practices, commitments, and actions. However, until relatively recently, there has been little focus on the possibility that nonhuman animals have any role to play in morality, save being the objects of moral concern. Moreover, when nonhuman cases are (...)
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  5. Conscience: The Mechanism of Morality.Jeffrey White - manuscript
    Conscience is oft-referred to yet not understood. This text develops a theory of cognition around a model of conscience, the ACTWith model. It represents a synthesis of results from contemporary neuroscience with traditional philosophy, building from Jamesian insights into the emergence of the self to narrative identity, all the while motivated by a single mechanism as represented in the ACTWith model. Emphasis is placed on clarifying historical expressions and demonstrations of conscience - Socrates, Heidegger, Kant, M.L. King - in light (...)
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Animal Reason
  1. What Does It Mean to Be Human, and Not Animal? Examining Montaigne’s Literary Persuasiveness in “Man is No Better Than the Animals”.Rory Collins - 2018 - Sloth: A Journal of Emerging Voices in Human-Animal Studies 4 (1).
    Michel de Montaigne famously argued in “Man is No Better Than the Animals” that humans and non-human animals cannot be dichotomized based on language or reasoning abilities, among other characteristics. This article examines a selection of writing features at play in the text and discusses how successfully they convey Montaigne’s claims. Throughout, I argue that Montaigne presents a superficially convincing case for doubting a categorical distinction between humans and animals on linguistic and rational grounds through the use of rhetorical questions, (...)
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  2. Anscombe and The Difference Rationality Makes.Eric Marcus - forthcoming - In Adrian Haddock & Rachael Wiseman (eds.), Anscombean Minds. Routledge.
    Anscombe famously argues that to act intentionally is to act under a description, and that “it is the agent's knowledge of what he is doing that gives the descriptions under which what is going on is the execution of an intention.” Further, she takes ‘knows’ to mean that the agent can give these descriptions herself. It would seem to follow that animals cannot act intentionally. However, she denies this, insisting that although animals cannot express intentions, they can have them. But (...)
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  3. Beyond Assimilationism and Differentialism. Comment on Glock.Keil Geert - 2012 - In Julian Nida-Rümelin Elif Özmen (ed.), Welt der Gründe. pp. 914-922.
    In a number of articles, Hans-Johann Glock has argued against the »lingualist« view that higher mental capacities are a prerogative of language-users. He has defended the »assimilationist« claim that the mental capacities of humans and of non-human animals differ only in degree. In the paper under discussion, Glock argues that animals are capable of acting for reasons, provided that reasons are construed along the lines of the new »objectivist« theory of practical reasons.
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Animal Social Cognition
  1. Tactful Animals: How the Study of Touch Can Inform the Animal Morality Debate.Susana Monsó & Birte Wrage - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    In this paper, we argue that scientists working on the animal morality debate have been operating with a narrow view of morality that prematurely limits the variety of moral practices that animals may be capable of. We show how this bias can be partially corrected by paying more attention to the touch behaviours of animals. We argue that a careful examination of the ways in which animals engage in and navigate touch interactions can shed new light on current debates on (...)
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  2. Primate Social Cognition and the Core Human Knowledge Concept.John Turri - 2018 - In Masaharu Mizumoto, Stephen Stich & Eric McCready (eds.), Epistemology for the rest of the world: linguistic and cultural diversity and epistemology. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 279-290.
    I review recent work from armchair and cross-cultural epistemology on whether humans possess a knowledge concept as part of a universal “folk epistemology.” The work from armchair epistemology fails because it mischaracterizes ordinary knowledge judgments. The work from cross-cultural epistemology provides some defeasible evidence for a universal folk epistemology. I argue that recent findings from comparative psychology establish that humans possess a species-typical knowledge concept. More specifically, recent work shows that knowledge attributions are a central part of primate social cognition, (...)
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  3. What Does It Mean to Be Human, and Not Animal? Examining Montaigne’s Literary Persuasiveness in “Man is No Better Than the Animals”.Rory Collins - 2018 - Sloth: A Journal of Emerging Voices in Human-Animal Studies 4 (1).
    Michel de Montaigne famously argued in “Man is No Better Than the Animals” that humans and non-human animals cannot be dichotomized based on language or reasoning abilities, among other characteristics. This article examines a selection of writing features at play in the text and discusses how successfully they convey Montaigne’s claims. Throughout, I argue that Montaigne presents a superficially convincing case for doubting a categorical distinction between humans and animals on linguistic and rational grounds through the use of rhetorical questions, (...)
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  4. Chimpanzee Theory of Mind: Looking in All the Wrong Places?Kristin Andrews - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (5):521-536.
    : I respond to an argument presented by Daniel Povinelli and Jennifer Vonk that the current generation of experiments on chimpanzee theory of mind cannot decide whether chimpanzees have the ability to reason about mental states. I argue that Povinelli and Vonk's proposed experiment is subject to their own criticisms and that there should be a more radical shift away from experiments that ask subjects to predict behavior. Further, I argue that Povinelli and Vonk's theoretical commitments should lead them to (...)
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  5. The Semantic Problem(s) with Research on Animal Mind‐Reading.Cameron Buckner - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (5):566-589.
    Philosophers and cognitive scientists have worried that research on animal mind-reading faces a ‘logical problem’: the difficulty of experimentally determining whether animals represent mental states (e.g. seeing) or merely the observable evidence (e.g. line-of-gaze) for those mental states. The most impressive attempt to confront this problem has been mounted recently by Robert Lurz. However, Lurz' approach faces its own logical problem, revealing this challenge to be a special case of the more general problem of distal content. Moreover, participants in this (...)
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Animal Test
  1. Review: Fellow Creatures. [REVIEW]Joe Saunders - forthcoming - Philosophy.
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  2. Animal Cognition, Species Invariantism, and Mathematical Realism.Helen De Cruz - 2019 - In Andrew Aberdein & Matthew Inglis (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 39-61.
    What can we infer from numerical cognition about mathematical realism? In this paper, I will consider one aspect of numerical cognition that has received little attention in the literature: the remarkable similarities of numerical cognitive capacities across many animal species. This Invariantism in Numerical Cognition (INC) indicates that mathematics and morality are disanalogous in an important respect: proto-moral beliefs differ substantially between animal species, whereas proto-mathematical beliefs (at least in the animals studied) seem to show more similarities. This makes moral (...)
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Animal Cognition, Misc
  1. Relationship Between Cognition and Moral Status Needs Overhaul.Carrie Figdor - 2020 - Animal Sentience 29 (3):1-2.
    I commend Mikhalevich & Powell for extending the discussion of cognition and its relation to moral status with their well researched and argued target article on invertebrate cognition. I have two small criticisms: that the scala naturae still retains its appeal to some in biology as well as psychology, and that drawing the line at invertebrates requires a bit more defense given the larger comparative cognitive-scientific context.
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  2. The Psychological Speciesism of Humanism.Carrie Figdor - 2020 - Philosophical Studies (n.a.):1-25.
    Humanists argue for assigning the highest moral status to all humans over any non-humans directly or indirectly on the basis of uniquely superior human cognitive abilities. They may also claim that humanism is the strongest position from which to combat racism, sexism, and other forms of within-species discrimination. I argue that changing conceptual foundations in comparative research and discoveries of advanced cognition in many non-human species reveal humanism’s psychological speciesism and its similarity with common justifications of within-species discrimination.
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  3. Instrumental Reasoning in Nonhuman Animals.Elisabeth Camp & Eli Shupe - 2017 - In Kristin Andrews & Jake Beck (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds. London, UK: pp. 100-118.
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  4. Ethics for Fish.Eliot Michaelson & Andrew Reisner - 2018 - In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 189-208.
    In this chapter we discuss some of the central ethical issues specific to eating and harvesting fish. We survey recent research on fish intelligence and cognition and discuss possible considerations that are distinctive to questions about the ethics of eating fish as opposed to terrestrial and avian mammals. We conclude that those features that are distinctive to the harvesting and consumption of fish, including means of capture and the central role that fishing plays in many communities, do not suggest that (...)
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