What do animals think?

Dale Jamieson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    Introduction: You may have noticed that the title of this essay is ambiguous. Asking what animals think could be part of an inquiry into animal public opinion, focusing perhaps on such questions as what apes think about the Endangered Species Act or whether frogs prefer Tom Waits to Leonard Cohen. Or if you read the right punctuation into the title you might see it as an exclamation of surprise: “What! Do animals think?” What I am actually concerned with in this essay is how we should think about specifying exactly what it is that a particular animal thinks on a particular occasion. Some would say that I am concerned with the problem of content as it applies to non-human animals. The first response to the question of what animals think may be to say that they think thoughts. This is harmless, so long as we do not succumb to the temptation of reading psychology or ontology directly off of the language. However, it is downright harmful if, after assimilating thinking to having a thought, we go on to suppose that having a thought is the same as having a propositional attitude. At the outset, anyway, I want to leave open a wide range of possibilities including whether animal thinking implies having propositional attitudes; and if it does, the meaning, status, and nature of these propositional attitudes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Philosophy of Animal Minds
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Pages15-34
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9780511819001
    ISBN (Print)9780521885027
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

    Fingerprint

    Animals
    Propositional Attitudes
    Thought
    Punctuation
    Ontology
    Nonhuman Animals
    Temptation
    Leonard Cohen
    Endangered Species
    Psychology
    Exclamation
    Apes
    Surprise
    Frog
    Public Opinion
    Language

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)

    Cite this

    Jamieson, D. (2009). What do animals think? In The Philosophy of Animal Minds (pp. 15-34). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511819001.002

    What do animals think? / Jamieson, Dale.

    The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press, 2009. p. 15-34.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Jamieson, D 2009, What do animals think? in The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press, pp. 15-34. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511819001.002
    Jamieson D. What do animals think? In The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. 2009. p. 15-34 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511819001.002
    Jamieson, Dale. / What do animals think?. The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press, 2009. pp. 15-34
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