The study of animal cognition raises profound questions about the minds of animals and philosophy of mind itself. Aristotle argued that humans are the only animal to laugh, but in recent experiments rats have also been shown to laugh. In other experiments, dogs have been shown to respond appropriately to over two hundred words in human language.
In this introduction to the philosophy of animal minds Kristin Andrews introduces and assesses the essential topics, problems and debates as they cut across animal cognition and philosophy of mind. She addresses the following key topics:
- what is cognition, and what is it to have a mind? What questions should we ask to determine whether behaviour has a cognitive basis?
- the science of animal minds explained: ethology, behaviourist psychology, and cognitive ethology
- rationality in animals
- animal consciousness: what does research into pain and the emotions reveal? What can empirical evidence about animal behaviour tell us about philosophical theories of consciousness?
- does animal cognition involve belief and concepts; do animals have a ‘Language of Thought’?
- animal communication
- other minds: do animals attribute ‘mindedness’ to other creatures?
- moral reasoning and ethical behaviour in animals
- animal cognition and memory.
Extensive use of empirical examples and case studies is made throughout the book. These include Cheney and Seyfarth’s ververt monkey research, Thorndike’s cat puzzle boxes, Jensen’s research into humans and chimpanzees and the ultimatum game, Pankseep and Burgdorf’s research on rat laughter, and Clayton and Emery’s research on memory in scrub-jays.
Additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of mind, animal cognition. It will also be an excellent resource for those in fields such as ethology, biology and psychology.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Kinds of Minds 2. Science of Other Minds 3. Consciousness 4. Rationality, Belief, and Content 5. Communication 6. Knowing Other Minds 7. Minds and Morals. Index
Kristin Andrews is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Director of the Cognitive Science Program at York University, Canada. She is the author of Do Apes Read Minds? Toward a New Folk Psychology (2012), and editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Animal Cognition.
"… Andrews explores the philosophy of animal cognition fairly thoroughly and clearly, including ideas, claims, and counterclaims. … The Animal Mind is not for skimming; it should be read slowly, a section at a time, digested, and read again. However, the knowledge gained is worth the time invested. … Summing Up: Recommended." - CHOICE
"Andrews is terrifically knowledgeable about both the philosophy and science of animal minds and is not above coaxing the rest of us into this notoriously difficult subject with the judicious use of anecdotes and stories. This is the best introduction to the subject currently available." - Dale Jamieson, New York University, USA
"An outstanding, highly readable, and carefully argued introduction to a variety of increasingly important topics in philosophy. I can think of no better way to get philosophers and cognitive scientists up to speed on the issues, and I look forward to teaching this book in my own courses on animal minds." - Bryce Huebner, Georgetown University, USA
"This thoughtful and well-informed book is a very useful guide to the philosophical and empirical literatures on animal minds. It is accessibly written and well-pitched for students." - José Luis Bermúdez, Texas A&M University, USA
"The Animal Mind is an ideal text for introductory classes in the growing field of the philosophy of cognitive ethology. It is also an excellent work of philosophy - one that challenges received wisdom and speculates about future lines of research. As interest in animals grows among philosophers and psychologists, this book provides stimulating reading for students and scholars alike." - Edward Minar, University of Arkansas, USA