Animals, Thoughts and Concepts - Glock

Animals, Thoughts and Concepts - Glock - Animals, Thoughts...

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Animals, Thoughts and Concepts Author(s): Hans-Johann Glock Source: Synthese, Vol. 123, No. 1 (Apr., 2000), pp. 35-64 Published by: Springer Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20118266 . Accessed: 16/08/2011 16:55 . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Springer is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Synthese. http://www.jstor.org
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HANS-JOHANN GLOCK ANIMALS, THOUGHTS AND CONCEPTS ABSTRACT. There are three main positions on animal thought: lingualism denies that non-linguistic animals have any thoughts; mentalism maintains that their thoughts differ from ours only in degree, due to their different perceptual inputs; an intermediate position, occupied by common sense and Wittgenstein, maintains that animals can have thoughts of a simple kind. This paper argues in favor of an intermediate position. It considers the most important arguments in favor of lingualism, namely those inspired by Davidson: the argument from the intensional nature of thought (Section 1); the idea that thoughts involve concepts (Sections 2-3); the argument from the holistic nature of thought (Section 4); and the claim that belief requires the concept of belief (Sections 5-6). The last argument (which Davidson favors) is uncompelling, but the first three shed valuable light on the extent to which thought requires language. However, none of them precludes animals from having simple thoughts. Even if one adopts the kind of third-person perspective on thought Davidson shares with Wittgenstein, the result is a version of the intermediate position, albeit one enriched by Davidson's insights concerning intensionality, concepts and holism (Section 7). We can only ascribe simple thoughts to animals, and even that ascription is incongruous in that the rich idiom we employ has conceptual connections that go beyond the phenomena to which it is applied. Can animals without language have thoughts? It is common to suggest that the answers to this question are sharply divided. On the one hand there are "human exceptionalists", who believe that we are unique in having thoughts; on the other there are supporters of "continuity across species", who regard the differences between humans and animals as merely a mat ter of degree (Jamieson 1998). In
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Animals, Thoughts and Concepts - Glock - Animals, Thoughts...

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