Species of Mind: The Philosophy and Biology of Cognitive Ethology / Edition 1

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Overview

Colin Allen (a philosopher) and Marc Bekoff (a cognitive ethologist) 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. The heart of Allen and Bekoff's book is this reciprocal relationship between philosophical theories of mind and empirical studies of animal cognition. The interdisciplinary approach reveals flaws in common objections to the view that animals have minds. All the theoretical discussions in the book are 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 investigations of animal minds, and they stress the importance of studying animals other than primates.

Historical account of classical ethology & cognitive ethology, antipredatory behavior, social play & intention.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"No one has ever contemplated what it is like to be a zucchini becausezucchini's lack minds. But we certainly have wondered what it is like tobe a predatory lion, or an echolocating bat or a brachiating monkey. Thatis because such animals presumably do have minds. But what kind of minds? Allen and Bekoff morph the disciplines of philosophy and ethology toprovide a lucid analysis of how animals think and what they think about.If you want a fun romp on the wild side of animal minds, read this book." Marc Hauser , Associate Professor, Departments ofAnthropology andPsychology, Program in Neurosciences, Harvard University
Marc Hauser
No one has ever contemplated what it is like to be a zucchini because zucchinis lack minds. But we certainly have wondered what it is like to be a predatory lion, or an echolocating bat or a brachiating monkey. That is because such animals presumably do have minds. But what kind of minds? Allen and Bekoff morph the disciplines of philosophy and ethology toprovide a lucid analysis of how animals think and what they think about. If you want a fun romp on the wild side of animal minds, read this book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262011631
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/10/1997
  • Series: Bradford Book Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 231
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Colin Allen is Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. He is the coauthor of Nature's Purposes (MIT Press, 1998), Species of Mind (MIT Press, 1997), and The Cognitive Animal (MIT Press, 2001).

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

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Cognitive Ethology and Philosophy of Mind: An Interdisciplinary Approach 1
2 A Brief Historical Account of Classical Ethology and Cognitive Ethology 21
3 What Is Behavior? 39
4 But Is It Science? 49
5 From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Ethology 63
6 Intentionality, Social Play, and Communication 87
7 Antipredatory Behavior: From Vigilance to Recognition to Action 115
8 Consciousness: Essential, or Dispensable? 139
9 Toward an Interdisciplinary Science of Cognitive Ethology: Synthesizing Field, Laboratory, and Armchair Approaches 161
References 183
Index 201
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