Download The Philosophy of Animal Minds by Robert W. Lurz PDF

By Robert W. Lurz

This quantity is a suite of fourteen new essays by way of prime philosophers on matters in regards to the nature, lifestyles, and our wisdom of animal minds. the character of animal minds has been a subject matter of curiosity to philosophers because the origins of philosophy, and up to date years have obvious major philosophical engagement with the topic. in spite of the fact that, there's no quantity that represents the present kingdom of play during this vital and growing to be box. the aim of this quantity is to focus on the kingdom of the controversy. the problems that are coated contain even if and to what measure animals imagine in a language or in iconic constructions, own recommendations, are wide awake, self-aware, metacognize, characteristic states of brain to others, and feature feelings, in addition to concerns concerning our wisdom of and the clinical criteria for attributing psychological states to animals.

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There will also be questions without answers. But this may take us back to language. You might say the difference between the man and Fido is that we can ask the man whether he believes that the squirrel is up in the oak tree and he can tell us. Assuming he is not linguistically or audiologically impaired, yes he can tell us. Of course, the man may, like Fido, just look at us quizzically when we ask the question. Or he may instead utter some words. Whatever he does, whether it involves words or not, is just more behavior requiring further interpretation, subject to the same sorts of indeterminacies I have already discussed.

While it seems plausible to say in such a case that Grete is surprised that her bone is not there, this attribution does not seem to make essential reference to Grete forming a second-order belief that her first-order belief about the location of the bone was false. Attributing surprise to Grete in this case seems to make reference only to her behavior, expectations, and state of the world. Even if we supposed that first-order beliefs do require second-order beliefs, it would seem that some animals satisfy this criterion.

For example, some, if perhaps not all, of the actions of adult human beings are properly explained by their desires and their beliefs about how to achieve those desires. What about the behavior of (nonhuman) animals? Are belief-desire explanations the right explanations of their actions? I argue that some (non-human) animal behavior is properly so explained, and thus that some animals truly have beliefs and desires. There are two strands of evidence which separately support this conclusion. First, behavior that is appropriately explained in terms of mental states such as beliefs and desires is behavior directed at a goal relative to which the agent is able to learn; and since human behavior meets this criterion, I argue, we should expect, on evolutionary grounds, that some animal behavior meets this criterion as well.

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