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  1. A Critique of the Principle of Cognitive Simplicity in Comparative Cognition.Irina Meketa - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (5):731-745.
    A widespread assumption in experimental comparative cognition is that, barring compelling evidence to the contrary, the default hypothesis should postulate the simplest cognitive ontology consistent with the animal’s behavior. I call this assumption the principle of cognitive simplicity . In this essay, I show that PoCS is pervasive but unjustified: a blanket preference for the simplest cognitive ontology is not justified by any of the available arguments. Moreover, without a clear sense of how cognitive ontologies are to be carved up (...)
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  • 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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  • Decentering Anthropocentrisms: A Functional Approach to Animal Minds.Matthew C. Altman - 2015 - Between the Species 18 (1).
    Anthropocentric biases manifest themselves in two different ways in research on animal cognition. Some researchers claim that only humans have the capacity for reasoning, beliefs, and interests; and others attribute mental concepts to nonhuman animals on the basis of behavioral evidence, and they conceive of animal cognition in more or less human terms. Both approaches overlook the fact that language-use deeply informs mental states, such that comparing human mental states to the mental states of nonlinguistic animals is misguided. In order (...)
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  • Commentary: Interpretations Without Justification: A General Argument Against Morgan's Canon.Eduardo Mercado - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Anti-Anthropomorphism and Its Limits.Domenica Bruni, Pietro Perconti & Alessio Plebe - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • 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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  • A Simple Explanation of Apparent Early Mindreading: Infants’ Sensitivity to Goals and Gaze Direction.Marco Fenici - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (3):497-515.
    According to a widely shared interpretation, research employing spontaneous-response false belief tasks demonstrates that infants as young as 15 months attribute (false) beliefs. In contrast with this conclusion, I advance an alternative reading of the empirical data. I argue that infants constantly form and update their expectations about others’ behaviour and that this ability extends in the course of development to reflect an appreciation of what others can and cannot see. These basic capacities account for infants’ performance in spontaneous-response false (...)
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  • Anthropomorphism and Anthropectomy as Friendly Competitors.Caleb Dewey - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (7):970-991.
    Principles help comparative psychologists select from among multiple hypotheses that account for the data. Anthropomorphic principles select hypotheses that have the most human–animal similarities while anthropectic principles select hypotheses that have the most human–animal differences. I argue that there is no way for the comparative psychologist on their own to justify their selection of one principle over the other. However, the comparative psychologist can justify their selection of one principle over the other in virtue of being members of comparative psychology (...)
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  • Interpretations Without Justification: A General Argument Against Morgan’s Canon.Tobias Starzak - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    In this paper I critically discuss and, in the end, reject Morgan’s Canon, a popular principle in comparative psychology. According to this principle we should always prefer explanations of animal behavior in terms of lower psychological processes over explanations in terms of higher psychological processes, when alternative explanations are possible. The validity of the principle depends on two things, a clear understanding of what it means for psychological processes to be higher or lower relative to each other and a justification (...)
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  • Mating Dances and the Evolution of Language: What’s the Next Step?Cameron Buckner & Keyao Yang - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1289-1316.
    The Darwinian protolanguage hypothesis is one of the most popular theories of the evolution of human language. According to this hypothesis, language evolved through a three stage process involving general increases in intelligence, the emergence of grammatical structure as a result of sexual selection on protomusical songs, and finally the attachment of meaning to the components of those songs. The strongest evidence for the second stage of this process has been considered to be birdsong, and as a result researchers have (...)
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  • Darwin, Hume, Morgan, and the Verae Causae of Psychology.Hayley Clatterbuck - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 60:1-14.
    Charles Darwin and C. Lloyd Morgan forward two influential principles of cognitive ethological inference that yield conflicting results about the extent of continuity in the cognitive traits of humans and other animals. While these principles have been interpreted as reflecting commitments to different senses of parsimony, in fact, both principles result from the same vera causa inferential strategy, according to which “We ought to admit no more causes of natural things, than such as are both true and sufficient to explain (...)
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  • Models, Mechanisms, and Animal Minds.Colin Allen - 2014 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1):75-97.
    In this paper, I describe grounds for dissatisfaction with certain aspects of the sciences of animal cognition and argue that a turn toward mathematical modeling of animal cognition is warranted. I consider some objections to this call and argue that the implications of such a turn are not as drastic for ordinary, commonsense understanding of animal minds as they might seem.
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  • A Better Kind of Continuity.Louise Barrett - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (S1):28-49.
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