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Colin Allen – 40 Years On: The Quest for a Scientific Philosophy of Animal Minds

April 27 @ 12:00 am

Colin Allen: University of Pittsburgh

2020 marks the 40th anniversary* of the publication of the pioneering work on vervet monkey alarm calls by Robert Seyfarth, Dorothy Cheney, and Peter Marler, as well as the 30th anniversary of the publication of Cheney & Seyfarth’s book How Monkeys See the World. Although not everyone was as willing as they were to embrace the label of “cognitive ethology” — coined by Donald Griffin in 1978 — the shift from Griffin’s anecdotal approach to seemingly fuzzy ideas about animal consciousness to a broader, more experimental approach to animal cognition over the past four decades is, by a variety of measures, a story of scientific success. New societies, new journals, new experiments, a big increase in the range of taxa studied, and even some new university departments, all contribute to the sense that the field of comparative animal cognition a progressive one. There is also a new generation of philosophers of animal mind who are collaborating closely with scientists. Despite all this, comparative cognition remains in what Thomas Kuhn would have called a “pre-paradigmatic” state. It lacks unifying theories and methods, and there is little consensus even about the right questions to ask. In this talk I will consider a range of explanations for this state of affairs, and address the question of what, if anything, should be done differently.

Details

Date:
April 27
Time:
12:00 am
Event Categories:
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Details

Date:
April 27
Time:
12:00 am
Event Categories:
, ,