The Intentionality of Plover Cognitive States

Stieg, Chuck (2008) The Intentionality of Plover Cognitive States. [Journal (On-line/Unpaginated)]

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This paper attempts to clarify and justify the attribution of mental states to animals by focusing on two different conceptions of intentionality: instrumentalist and realist. I use each of these general views to interpret and discuss the behavior and cognitive states of piping plovers in order to provide a substantive way to frame the question of animal minds. I argue that attributing mental states to plovers is warranted for instrumentalists insofar as it is warranted for similar human behavior. For realists about intentionality, the complexity, adaptability and flexibility of the plovers’ behavior, along with its ability to utilize the content of its representations and to satisfy the conditions of concept attribution, justifies attributing intentionality to plovers. Getting clearer on what is meant by animal minds, provides a better idea of what to look for in animal behavior. In many respects, investigating such phenomena is similar to investigations in other sciences.

Item Type:Journal (On-line/Unpaginated)
Keywords:Animal Mind, Intentionality, Plovers, Representation, Cognitive Ethology
Biology > Animal Cognition
Philosophy > Epistemology
Philosophy > Metaphysics
Biology > Animal Behavior
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Comparative Psychology
Biology > Ethology
ID Code:6421
Deposited By: Stieg, Chuck
Deposited On:21 Apr 2009 02:38
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57


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