•  119
    The demise of behaviorism has made ethologists more willing to ascribe mental states to animals. However, a methodology that can avoid the charge of excessive anthropomorphism is needed. We describe a series of experiments that could help determine whether the behavior of nonhuman animals towards dead conspecifics is concept mediated. These experiments form the basis of a general point. The behavior of some animals is clearly guided by complex mental processes. The techniques developed by compar…Read more
  •  119
    The heart of this book is the reciprocal relationship between philosophical theories of mind and empirical studies of animal cognition.
  •  118
    Machine morality: bottom-up and top-down approaches for modelling human moral faculties (review)
    with Wendell Wallach and Iva Smit
    AI and Society 22 (4): 565-582. 2008.
    The implementation of moral decision making abilities in artificial intelligence (AI) is a natural and necessary extension to the social mechanisms of autonomous software agents and robots. Engineers exploring design strategies for systems sensitive to moral considerations in their choices and actions will need to determine what role ethical theory should play in defining control architectures for such systems. The architectures for morally intelligent agents fall within two broad approaches: th…Read more
  •  118
    Fish Cognition and Consciousness
    Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (1): 25-39. 2013.
    Questions about fish consciousness and cognition are receiving increasing attention. In this paper, I explain why one must be careful to avoid drawing conclusions too hastily about this hugely diverse set of species
  •  105
    Mental content
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (4): 537-553. 1992.
    Daniel Dennett and Stephen Stich have independently, but similarly, argued that the contents of mental states cannot be specified precisely enough for the purposes of scientific prediction and explanation. Dennett takes this to support his view that the proper role for mentalistic terms in science is heuristic. Stich takes it to support his view that cognitive science should be done without reference to mental content at all. I defend a realist understanding of mental content against these attac…Read more
  •  101
    Biological function, adaptation, and natural design
    with Marc Bekoff
    Philosophy of Science 62 (4): 609-622. 1995.
    Recently something close to a consensus about the best way to naturalize the notion of biological function appears to be emerging. Nonetheless, teleological notions in biology remain controversial. In this paper we provide a naturalistic analysis for the notion of natural design. Many authors assume that natural design should be assimilated directly to function. Others find the notion problematic because it suggests that evolution is a directed process. We argue that both of these views are mist…Read more
  •  98
    Multi-level computational methods for interdisciplinary research in the HathiTrust Digital Library
    with Jaimie Murdock, Katy Börner, Robert Light, Simon McAlister, Andrew Ravenscroft, Robert Rose, Doori Rose, Jun Otsuka, David Bourget, John Lawrence, and Chris Reed
    PLoS ONE 12 (9). 2017.
    We show how faceted search using a combination of traditional classification systems and mixed-membership topic models can go beyond keyword search to inform resource discovery, hypothesis formulation, and argument extraction for interdisciplinary research. Our test domain is the history and philosophy of scientific work on animal mind and cognition. The methods can be generalized to other research areas and ultimately support a system for semi-automatic identification of argument structures. We…Read more
  •  95
    Intentionality, social play, and definition
    with Marc Bekoff
    Biology and Philosophy 9 (1): 63-74. 1994.
    Social play is naturally characterized in intentional terms. An evolutionary account of social play could help scientists to understand the evolution of cognition and intentionality. Alexander Rosenberg (1990) has argued that if play is characterized intentionally or functionally, it is not a behavioral phenotype suitable for evolutionary explanation. If he is right, his arguments would threaten many projects in cognitive ethology. We argue that Rosenberg's arguments are unsound and that intenti…Read more
  •  91
    Synthese special issue: representing philosophy
    with Tony Beavers
    Synthese 182 (2): 181-183. 2011.
  •  90
    Animal cognition and animal minds
    In Martin Carrier & Peter K. Machamer (eds.), Mindscapes: Philosophy, Science, and the Mind, Pittsburgh University Press. 1997.
    Psychology, according to a standard dictionary definition, is the science of mind and behavior. For a major part of the twentieth century, (nonhuman) animal psychology was on a behavioristic track that explicitly denied the possibility of a science of animal mind. While many comparative psychologists remain wedded to behavioristic methods, they have more recently adopted a cognitive, information-processing approach that does not adhere to the strictures of stimulus-response explanations of anima…Read more
  •  88
    On (not) defining cognition
    Synthese 194 (11): 4233-4249. 2017.
    Should cognitive scientists be any more embarrassed about their lack of a discipline-fixing definition of cognition than biologists are about their inability to define “life”? My answer is “no”. Philosophers seeking a unique “mark of the cognitive” or less onerous but nevertheless categorical characterizations of cognition are working at a level of analysis upon which hangs nothing that either cognitive scientists or philosophers of cognitive science should care about. In contrast, I advocate a …Read more
  •  85
    Erratum to: Synthese special issue: representing philosophy
    with Tony Beavers
    Synthese 183 (2): 277-277. 2011.
  •  81
    The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition (edited book)
    with Marc Bekoff and Gordon M. Burghardt
    MIT Press. 2002.
    The fifty-seven original essays in this book provide a comprehensive overview of the interdisciplinary field of animal cognition.
  •  76
    Animal concepts
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1): 66-66. 1998.
    Millikan's account of concepts is applicable to questions about concepts in nonhuman animals. I raise three questions in this context: (1) Does classical conditioning entail the possession of simple concepts? (2) Are movement property concepts more basic than substance concepts? (3) What is the empirical content of claiming that concept meanings do not necessarily change as dispositions change?
  •  73
    Recognizing group cognition
    with Georg Theiner and Robert L. Goldstone
    Cognitive Systems Research 11 (4): 378-395. 2010.
    In this paper, we approach the idea of group cognition from the perspective of the “extended mind” thesis, as a special case of the more general claim that systems larger than the individual human, but containing that human, are capable of cognition (Clark, 2008; Clark & Chalmers, 1998). Instead of deliberating about “the mark of the cognitive” (Adams & Aizawa, 2008), our discussion of group cognition is tied to particular cognitive capacities. We review recent studies of group problem-solving a…Read more
  •  73
    It is a truism among ethologists that one must not forget that animals perceive and represent the world differently from humans. Sometimes this caution is phrased in terms of von Uexküll’s Umwelt concept. Yet it seems possible (perhaps even unavoidable) to adopt a common ontological framework when comparing different species of mind. For some purposes it seems sufficient to ­anchor comparative cognition in common-sense categories; bats echolocate insects (or a subset of them) after all. But for …Read more
  •  68
    Models, Mechanisms, and Animal Minds
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1): 75-97. 2014.
    In this paper, I describe grounds for dissatisfaction with certain aspects of the sciences of animal cognition and argue that a turn toward mathematical modeling of animal cognition is warranted. I consider some objections to this call and argue that the implications of such a turn are not as drastic for ordinary, commonsense understanding of animal minds as they might seem
  •  62
    Framing robot arms control
    with Wendell Wallach
    Ethics and Information Technology 15 (2): 125-135. 2013.
    The development of autonomous, robotic weaponry is progressing rapidly. Many observers agree that banning the initiation of lethal activity by autonomous weapons is a worthy goal. Some disagree with this goal, on the grounds that robots may equal and exceed the ethical conduct of human soldiers on the battlefield. Those who seek arms-control agreements limiting the use of military robots face practical difficulties. One such difficulty concerns defining the notion of an autonomous action by a ro…Read more
  •  60
    In the last decade it has become en vogue for cognitive comparative psychologists to study animal behavior in an ‘integrated’ fashion to account for both the ‘innate’ and the ‘acquired’. We will argue that these studies, instead of really integrating the concepts of ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’, rather cement this old dichotomy. They combine empty nativist interpretation of behavior systems with blatantly environmentalist explanations of learning. We identify the main culprit as the failure to take de…Read more
  •  60
    Evolving Phenomenal Consciousness
    Anthropology and Philosophy 6 (1/2). 2005.
  •  59
    Consciousness and ethics: Artificially conscious moral agents
    with Wendell Wallach and Stan Franklin
    International Journal of Machine Consciousness 3 (01): 177-192. 2011.
  •  55
    How should scientists react to anthropomorphism (defined for the purposes of this paper as the attribution of mental states or properties to nonhuman animals)? Many thoughtful scientists have attempted to accommodate some measure of anthropomorphism in their approaches to animal behavior. But Wynne will have none of it. We reject his argument against anthropomorphism and argue that he does not pay sufficient attention to the historical facts or to the details of alternative approaches.
  •  54
    Ethics, Law, and the Science of Fish Welfare
    Between the Species 16 (1): 7. 2013.
    Fish farming is one of the fastest growing sectors of agriculture, attracting considerable attention to the question of whether existing farming regulations and animal welfare laws are adequate to deal with the expanding role of fish in feeding humans. The role of fish as model organisms in scientific research is also expanding -- a majority of research biology departments now keep zebrafish for the purposes of genome biology, and they are used widely used for basic neuroscience research. Howeve…Read more
  •  50
    If I could talk to the animals
    with Thomas Suddendorf, Mark E. Borrello, and Gregory Radick
    Metascience 21 (2): 253-267. 2012.
    If I could talk to the animals Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-15 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9553-1 Authors Thomas Suddendorf, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Mark E. Borrello, Program in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Department of Ecology Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA Colin Allen, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University…Read more
  •  48
    The evolution of rational demons
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5): 742-742. 2000.
    If fast and frugal heuristics are as good as they seem to be, who needs logic and probability theory? Fast and frugal heuristics depend for their success on reliable structure in the environment. In passive environments, there is relatively little change in structure as a consequence of individual choices. But in social interactions with competing agents, the environment may be structured by agents capable of exploiting logical and probabilistic weaknesses in competitors' heuristics. Aspirations…Read more
  •  47
    Search in an environment with an uncertain distribution of resources involves a trade-off between exploitation of past discoveries and further exploration. This extends to information foraging, where a knowledge-seeker shifts between reading in depth and studying new domains. To study this decision-making process, we examine the reading choices made by one of the most celebrated scientists of the modern era: Charles Darwin. From the full-text of books listed in his chronologically-organized read…Read more
  •  45
    The idea that reasoning is a singular accomplishment of the human species has an ancient pedigree.Yet this idea remains as controversial as it is ancient. Those who would deny reasoning to nonhuman animals typically hold a language-based conception of inference which places it beyond the reach of languageless creatures. Others reject such an anthropocentric conception of reasoning on the basis of similar performance by humans and animals in some reasoning tasks, such as transitive inference. Her…Read more
  •  43
    Cognitive ethology: Slayers, skeptics, and proponents
    with Marc Bekoff
    In R. Mitchell, Nicholas S. Thompson & H. L. Miles (eds.), Anthropomorphism, Anecdotes, and Animals, Suny Press. pp. 313--334. 1997.