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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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 ...


The Chicken Challenge – What Contemporary Studies Of Fowl Mean For Science And Ethics, Carolynn L. Smith, Jane Johnson Feb 2012

The Chicken Challenge – What Contemporary Studies Of Fowl Mean For Science And Ethics, Carolynn L. Smith, Jane Johnson

Between the Species

Studies with captive fowl have revealed that they possess greater cognitive capacities than previously thought. We now know that fowl have sophisticated cognitive and communicative skills, which had hitherto been associated only with certain primates. Several theories have been advanced to explain the evolution of such complex behavior. Central to these theories is the enlargement of the brain in species with greater mental capacities. Fowl present us with a conundrum, however, because they show the behaviors anticipated by the theories but do not have the expected changes in the brain. Consequently fowl present two challenges of interest to us here ...