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  1. added 2019-09-07
    Animal Suicide: An Account Worth Giving? Commentary on Peña-Guzmán on Animal Suicide.Irina Mikhalevich - 2018 - Animal Sentience 20 (19).
    Peña-Guzmán (2017) argues that empirical evidence and evolutionary theory compel us to treat the phenomenon of suicide as continuous in the animal kingdom. He defends a “continuist” account in which suicide is a multiply-realizable phenomenon characterized by self-injurious and self-annihilative behaviors. This view is problematic for several reasons. First, it appears to mischaracterize the Darwinian view that mind is continuous in nature. Second, by focusing only on surface-level features of behavior, it groups causally and etiologically disparate phenomena under a single (...)
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  2. added 2019-09-02
    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. added 2019-05-26
    The Mental Lives of Sheep and the Quest for a Psychological Taxonomy.Carrie Figdor - 2019 - Animal Sentience 25 (16):1-3.
    In this commentary on Marino and Merskin's "Intelligence, complexity, and individuality in sheep", I argue that their literature review provides further evidence of the fundamental theoretical shift in psychology towards a non-anthropocentric psychological taxonomy, in which cognitive capacities are classified in a structure that provides an overall understanding of the place of mind (including human minds) throughout nature.
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  4. added 2019-03-26
    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. added 2019-03-26
    Life in a Cage.Kristin Andrews - 2017 - The Philosophers' Magazine 76:72-77.
    Personhood is not a redundant category, but a social cluster kind. On this view, chimpanzees have their own kind of personhood profile. Seeing that chimpanzees have a personhood profile allows us to argue that chimpanzees like Tommy are individuals who deserve rights under the law. If chimpanzee personhood is a matter of public policy that needs to be decided by society, then learning more about the person profiles of chimpanzees will be essential in making this case. As the public learns (...)
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  6. added 2019-03-26
    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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  7. added 2019-03-18
    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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  8. added 2019-03-18
    Where the Standard Approach in Comparative Neuroscience Fails and Where It Works: General Intelligence and Brain Asymmetries.Davide Serpico & Elisa Frasnelli - 2018 - Comparative Cognition and Behavior Reviews 13:95-98.
    Although brain size and the concept of intelligence have been extensively used in comparative neuroscience to study cognition and its evolution, such coarse-grained traits may not be informative enough about important aspects of neurocognitive systems. By taking into account the different evolutionary trajectories and the selection pressures on neurophysiology across species, Logan and colleagues suggest that the cognitive abilities of an organism should be investigated by considering the fine-grained and species-specific phenotypic traits that characterize it. In such a way, we (...)
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  9. added 2019-03-18
    Comparative Psychometrics: Establishing What Differs is Central to Understanding What Evolves.Christoph J. Völter, Brandon Tinklenberg, Amanda Seed & Josep Call - 2018 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 373 (20170283).
    Cognitive abilities cannot be measured directly. What we can measure is individual variation in task performance. In this paper, we first make the case for why we should be interested in mapping individual differences in task performance on to particular cognitive abilities: we suggest that it is crucial for examining the causes and consequences of variation both within and between species. As a case study, we examine whether multiple measures of inhibitory control for non-human animals do indeed produce correlated task (...)
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  10. added 2019-03-18
    Theory of Mind and Non-Human Intelligence.Brandon Tinklenberg - 2016 - Shakelford, T.K. And V.A.Weekes-Shakelford (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer.
    Comparative cognition researchers have long been interested in the nature of nonhuman animal social capacities. One capacity has received prolonged attention: mindreading, or “theory of mind” as it’s also called, is often seen to be the ability to attribute mental states to others in the service of predicting and explaining behavior. This attention is garnered in no small measure from interest into what accounts for the distinctive features of human social cognition and what are the evolutionary origins of those features. (...)
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  11. added 2019-03-18
    Pojem animální mysli.Tomas Hribek - 2016 - In Hana Müllerová, David Cerny & Adam Doležal (eds.), Kapitoly o právech zvířat. Praha, Česko: pp. 235-306.
    [The Concept of Animal Mind] A critical analysis and assessment of the current philosophical theories of animal cognition and consciousness. The contents: 1. The concept of mind; 2. Other minds; 3. Can animals think?; 4. Do animals have concsiousness?; 5. Conclusion.
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  12. added 2018-07-24
    Collective Intentionality in Non-Human Animals.Robert A. Wilson - 2017 - In Marija Jankovic and Kirk Ludwig (ed.), Routledge Handbook on Collective Intentionality. New York, NY, USA: pp. 420-432.
    I think there is something to be said in a positive and constructive vein about collective intentionality in non-human animals. Doing so involves probing at the concept of collective intentionality fairly directly (Section 2), considering the various forms that collective intentionality might take (Section 3), showing some sensitivity to the history of appeals to that concept and its close relatives (Section 4), and raising some broader questions about the relationships between sociality, cognition, and institutions by discussing two different possible cases (...)
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  13. added 2018-07-24
    Thoughtful Brutes.Tomas Hribek - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19:70-82.
    Donald Davidson and John Searle famously differ, among other things, on the issue of animal thoughts. Davidson seems to be a latter-day Cartesian, denying any propositional thought to subhuman animals, while Searle seems to follow Hume in claiming that if we have thoughts, then animals do, too. Davidson’s argument centers on the idea that language is necessary for thought, which Searle rejects. The paper argues two things. Firstly, Searle eventually argues that much of a more complex thought does depend on (...)
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  14. added 2018-02-17
    Beyond Anthropomorphism: Attributing Psychological Properties to Animals.Kristin Andrews - 2011 - In Tom L. Beauchamp R. G. Frey (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 469--494.
    In the context of animal cognitive research, anthropomorphism is defined as the attribution of uniquely human mental characteristics to animals. Those who worry about anthropomorphism in research, however, are immediately confronted with the question of which properties are uniquely human. One might think that researchers must first hypothesize the existence of a feature in an animal before they can, with warrant, claim that the property is uniquely human. But all too often, this isn't the approach. Rather, there is an a (...)
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  15. added 2018-01-19
    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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  16. added 2018-01-17
    Razonamiento Animal: Negación y Representaciones de Ausencia.Jorge Morales - 2011 - Revista Argentina de Ciencias Del Comportamiento 3 (1):20-33.
    In this paper, I reject that animal reasoning, negation in particular, necessarily involves the representation of absences, as suggested by Bermúdez (2003, 2006, 2007), since this would still work as a logical negation (unavailable for non-linguistic creatures). False belief, pretense, and communication experiments show that non-human animals (at least some primates) have difficulties representing absent entities or properties. I offer an alternative account resorting to the sub-symbolic similarity judgments proposed by Vigo & Allen (2009) and expectations: animal proto-negation takes place (...)
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  17. added 2017-10-09
    Animal Morality: What is the Debate About?Simon Fitzpatrick - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1151-1183.
    Empirical studies of the social lives of non-human primates, cetaceans, and other social animals have prompted scientists and philosophers to debate the question of whether morality and moral cognition exists in non-human animals. Some researchers have argued that morality does exist in several animal species, others that these species may possess various evolutionary building blocks or precursors to morality, but not quite the genuine article, while some have argued that nothing remotely resembling morality can be found in any non-human species. (...)
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  18. added 2017-05-14
    Is Behavioural Flexibility Evidence of Cognitive Complexity? How Evolution Can Inform Comparative Cognition.Irina Mikhalevich, Russell Powell & Corina Logan - 2017 - Interface Focus 7.
    Behavioural flexibility is often treated as the gold standard of evidence for more sophisticated or complex forms of animal cognition, such as planning, metacognition and mindreading. However, the evidential link between behavioural flexibility and complex cognition has not been explicitly or systematically defended. Such a defence is particularly pressing because observed flexible behaviours can frequently be explained by putatively simpler cognitive mechanisms. This leaves complex cognition hypotheses open to ‘deflationary’ challenges that are accorded greater evidential weight precisely because they offer (...)
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  19. added 2017-03-01
    Snipping or Editing? Parsimony in the Chimpanzee Mind-Reading Debate: Elliott Sober: Ockham’s Razors: A User’s Manual. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 322 Pp, $ 29.99 PB, $ 99.99 HB.Kristin Andrews - 2016 - Metascience 25 (3):377-386.
    on ). Advice about how to move forward on the mindreading debate, particularly when it comes to overcoming the logical problem, is much needed in comparative psychology. In chapter 4 of his book Ockham’s Razors, Elliott Sober takes on the task by suggesting how we might uncover the mechanism that mediates between the environmental stimuli that is visible to all, and chimpanzee social behavior. I argue that Sober's proposed method for deciding between the behaivor-reading and mindreading hypotheses fails given the (...)
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  20. added 2017-03-01
    Interpreting the Baboon. [REVIEW]Kristin Andrews - 2008 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):5-6.
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  21. added 2016-09-16
    Against Morgan's Canon.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2017 - In Kristin Andrews & Jacob Beck (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds. Routledge.
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  22. added 2016-07-29
    Building a Science of Animal Minds: Lloyd Morgan, Experimentation, and Morgan’s Canon.Grant Goodrich & Simon Fitzpatrick - 2017 - Journal of the History of Biology 50 (3):525-569.
    Conwy Lloyd Morgan (1852–1936) is widely regarded as the father of modern comparative psychology. Yet, Morgan initially had significant doubts about whether a genuine science of comparative psychology was even possible, only later becoming more optimistic about our ability to make reliable inferences about the mental capacities of non-human animals. There has been a fair amount of disagreement amongst scholars of Morgan’s work about the nature, timing, and causes of this shift in Morgan’s thinking. We argue that Morgan underwent two (...)
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  23. added 2016-03-18
    The Emergence of the Drive Concept and the Collapse of the Animal/Human Divide.Paul Katsafanas - forthcoming - In Peter Adamson & G. Fay Edwards (eds.), Animals: A History (Oxford Philosophical Concepts).
    In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, philosophers including Kant and Hegel draw a sharp distinction between the human and the animal. The human is self-conscious, the animal is not; the human has moral worth, the animal does not. By the mid to late nineteenth century, these claims are widely rejected. As scientific and philosophical work on the cognitive and motivational capacities of animals increases in sophistication, many philosophers become suspicious of the idea that there is any divide between (...)
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  24. added 2016-03-09
    Morality Without Mindreading.Susana Monsó - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (3):338-357.
    Could animals behave morally if they can’t mindread? Does morality require mindreading capacities? Moral psychologists believe mindreading is contingently involved in moral judgements. Moral philosophers argue that moral behaviour necessarily requires the possession of mindreading capacities. In this paper, I argue that, while the former may be right, the latter are mistaken. Using the example of empathy, I show that animals with no mindreading capacities could behave on the basis of emotions that possess an identifiable moral content. Therefore, at least (...)
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  25. added 2016-02-13
    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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  26. added 2016-02-09
    Animals as Reflexive Thinkers: The Aponoian Paradigm.Mark Rowlands & Susana Monsó - 2017 - In Linda Kalof (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Animal Studies. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 319-341.
    The ability to engage in reflexive thought—in thought about thought or about other mental states more generally—is regarded as a complex intellectual achievement that is beyond the capacities of most nonhuman animals. To the extent that reflexive thought capacities are believed necessary for the possession of many other psychological states or capacities, including consciousness, belief, emotion, and empathy, the inability of animals to engage in reflexive thought calls into question their other psychological abilities. This chapter attacks the idea that reflexive (...)
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  27. added 2015-10-09
    Animals.Gary Hatfield - 2008 - In Janet Broughton & John Carriero (eds.), Companion to Descartes. Blackwell. pp. 404–425.
    This chapter considers philosophical problems concerning non-human (and sometimes human) animals, including their metaphysical, physical, and moral status, their origin, what makes them alive, their functional organization, and the basis of their sensitive and cognitive capacities. I proceed by assuming what most of Descartes’s followers and interpreters have held: that Descartes proposed that animals lack sentience, feeling, and genuinely cognitive representations of things. (Some scholars interpret Descartes differently, denying that he excluded sentience, feeling, and representation from animals, and I consider (...)
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  28. added 2015-10-01
    Information and Meaning in Life, Humans and Robots (FIS 2005).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    Information and meaning exist around us and within ourselves, and the same information can correspond to different meanings. This is true for humans and animals, and is becoming true for robots. We propose here an overview of this subject by using a systemic tool related to meaning generation that has already been published (C. Menant, Entropy 2003). The Meaning Generator System (MGS) is a system submitted to a constraint that generates a meaningful information when it receives an incident information that (...)
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  29. added 2015-09-11
    Empathy and Morality in Behaviour Readers.Susana Monsó - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):671-690.
    It is tempting to assume that being a moral creature requires the capacity to attribute mental states to others, because a creature cannot be moral unless she is capable of comprehending how her actions can have an impact on the well-being of those around her. If this assumption were true, then mere behaviour readers could never qualify as moral, for they are incapable of conceptualising mental states and attributing them to others. In this paper, I argue against such an assumption (...)
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  30. added 2015-09-07
    An Account of Boeschian Cooperative Behaviour.Olle Blomberg - 1st ed. 2015 - In Catrin Misselhorn (ed.), Collective Agency and Cooperation in Natural and Artificial Systems. Springer Verlag.
    Philosophical accounts of joint action are often prefaced by the observation that there are two different senses in which several agents can intentionally perform an action Φ, such as go for a walk or capture the prey. The agents might intentionally Φ together, as a collective, or they might intentionally Φ in parallel, where Φ is distributively assigned to the agents, considered as a set of individuals. The accounts are supposed to characterise what is distinctive about activities in which several (...)
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  31. added 2015-09-02
    Events, Narratives and Memory.Nazim Keven - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8).
    Whether non-human animals can have episodic memories remains the subject of extensive debate. A number of prominent memory researchers defend the view that animals do not have the same kind of episodic memory as humans do, whereas others argue that some animals have episodic-like memory—i.e., they can remember what, where and when an event happened. Defining what constitutes episodic memory has proven to be difficult. In this paper, I propose a dual systems account and provide evidence for a distinction between (...)
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  32. added 2015-07-28
    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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  33. added 2014-10-21
    Information and Meaning (Entropy 2003).Christophe Menant - 2003 - Entropy 5:193-204.
    We propose here to clarify some of the relations existing between information and meaning by showing how meaningful information can be generated by a system submitted to a constraint. We build up definitions and properties for meaningful information, a meaning generator system and the domain of efficiency of a meaning (to cover cases of meaningful information transmission). Basic notions of information processing are used.
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  34. added 2014-05-27
    Povinelli’s Problem and Introspection.Michael Roche - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):559-576.
    Povinelli’s Problem is a well-known methodological problem confronting those researching nonhuman primate cognition. In this paper I add a new wrinkle to this problem. The wrinkle concerns introspection, i.e., the ability to detect one’s own mental states. I argue that introspection either creates a new obstacle to solving Povinelli’s Problem, or creates a slightly different, but closely related, problem. I apply these arguments to Robert Lurz and Carla Krachun’s (Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2: 449–481, 2011) recent attempt at solving (...)
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  35. added 2014-03-30
    The Primate Mindreading Controversy : A Case Study in Simplicity and Methodology in Animal Psychology.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2009 - In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. pp. 224--246.
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  36. added 2013-10-20
    Introduction to a Systemic Theory of Meaning (Jan 2010 Update).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    Information and Meaning are present everywhere around us and within ourselves. Specific studies have been implemented in order to link information and meaning: - Semiotics - Phenomenology - Analytic Philosophy - Psychology No general coverage is available for the notion of meaning. We propose to complement this lack by a systemic approach to meaning generation.
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  37. added 2013-10-20
    Computation on Information, Meaning and Representations. An Evolutionary Approach (World Scientific 2011).Christophe Menant - 2011 - In Dodig-Crnkovic, Gordana & Mark Burgin (eds.), Information and Computation. World Scientific. pp. 255-286.
    Understanding computation as “a process of the dynamic change of information” brings to look at the different types of computation and information. Computation of information does not exist alone by itself but is to be considered as part of a system that uses it for some given purpose. Information can be meaningless like a thunderstorm noise, it can be meaningful like an alert signal, or like the representation of a desired food. A thunderstorm noise participates to the generation of meaningful (...)
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  38. added 2013-09-04
    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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  39. added 2013-04-13
    Review of Kristin Andrews' Do Apes Read Minds? Toward a New Folk Psychology[REVIEW]Neil Van Leeuwen - 2013 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 4.
    Kristin Andrews proposes a new framework for thinking about folk psychology, which she calls Pluralistic Folk Psychology. Her approach emphasizes kinds of psychological prediction and explanation that don't rest on propositional attitude attribution. Here I review some elements of her theory and find that, although the approach is very promising, there's still work to be done before we can conclude that the manners of prediction and explanation she identifies don't involve implicit propositional attitude attribution.
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  40. added 2012-08-24
    Embodied Social Cognition.Shannon Spaulding - 2011 - Philosophical Topics 39 (1):141-162.
    In this paper I evaluate embodied social cognition, embodied cognition’s account of how we understand others. I identify and evaluate three claims that motivate embodied social cognition. These claims are not specific to social cognition; they are general hypotheses about cognition. As such, they may be used in more general arguments for embodied cognition. I argue that we have good reasons to reject these claims. Thus, the case for embodied social cognition fails. Moreover, to the extent that general arguments for (...)
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