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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Why Do We Care?: A Natural History Of Noddings’ Ethical Theory, Walter Jason Niedermeyer Oct 2017

Why Do We Care?: A Natural History Of Noddings’ Ethical Theory, Walter Jason Niedermeyer

Between the Species

Noddings’ theory of caring, which is nearing its 35th anniversary, has failed to garner the attention of the more classical theories of ethics. This slight may be due to its relative youth, or the historical support for other constructs, but if examined through the lens of evolutionary biology, the validity of Noddings might be tested. Using recent discoveries from the emerging fields of cognitive ethology and neuroscience, I have evaluated whether there exists evolutionary underpinnings for her theory. My analysis makes it apparent that the empathy and altruism required for the practice of caring are as much a product ...


Decentering Anthropocentrisms: A Functional Approach To Animal Minds, Matthew C. Altman Nov 2013

Decentering Anthropocentrisms: A Functional Approach To Animal Minds, Matthew C. Altman

Between the Species

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 to avoid both pitfalls -- assuming that animals have mental lives just like we do, or assuming that they have ...