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Description - Species of Mind by Colin Allen

Colin Allen and Marc Beckoff approach their work from a perspective that considers arguments about evolutionary continuity to be as applicable to the study of animal minds and brains as they are to comparative studies of kidneys, stomachs, and hearts. Cognitive ethologists study the comparative, evolutionary, and ecological aspects of the mental phenomena of animals. Philosophy can provide cognitive ethology with an analytical basis for attributing cognition to nonhuman animals and for studying it, and cognitive ethology can help philosophy to explain mentality in naturalistic terms by providing data on the evolution of cognition. This interdisciplinary approach reveals flaws in common objections to the view that animals have minds. The heart of the book is this reciprocal relationship between philosophical theories of mind and empirical studies of animal cognition. All theoretical discussion is carefully tied to case studies, particularly in the areas of antipredatory vigilance and social play, where there are many points of contact with philosophical discussions of intentionality and representation. Allen and Bekoff make specific suggestions about how to use philosophical theories of intentionality as starting points for empirical investigation of animal minds, and they stress the importance of studying animals other than nonhuman primates.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262511087
ISBN-10: 0262511088
Format: Paperback
(226mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Pages: 231
Imprint: Bradford Books
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 26-Jul-1999
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Colin Allen

Marc Bekoff is Professor of Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Books By Colin Allen

Moral Machines by Colin Allen
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Cognitive Animal by Colin Allen
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Logic Primer by Colin Allen
Paperback, January 2001