•  2773
    Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers' Brief
    with Gary Comstock, G. K. D. Crozier, Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David M. Pena-Guzman, and Jeff Sebo
    Routledge. 2018.
    In December 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a petition for a common law writ of habeas corpus in the New York State Supreme Court on behalf of Tommy, a chimpanzee living alone in a cage in a shed in rural New York (Barlow, 2017). Under animal welfare laws, Tommy’s owners, the Laverys, were doing nothing illegal by keeping him in those conditions. Nonetheless, the NhRP argued that given the cognitive, social, and emotional capacities of chimpanzees, Tommy’s confinement constituted …Read more
  •  1741
    The study of animal cognition raises profound questions about the minds of animals and philosophy of mind itself. Aristotle argued that humans are the only animal to laugh, but in recent experiments rats have also been shown to laugh. In other experiments, dogs have been shown to respond appropriately to over two hundred words in human language. In this introduction to the philosophy of animal minds Kristin Andrews introduces and assesses the essential topics, problems and debates as they cut ac…Read more
  •  830
    Beyond Anthropomorphism: Attributing Psychological Properties to Animals
    In Tom L. Beauchamp R. G. Frey (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics, Oxford University Press. pp. 469--494. 2011.
    In the context of animal cognitive research, anthropomorphism is defined as the attribution of uniquely human mental characteristics to animals. Those who worry about anthropomorphism in research, however, are immediately confronted with the question of which properties are uniquely human. One might think that researchers must first hypothesize the existence of a feature in an animal before they can, with warrant, claim that the property is uniquely human. But all too often, this isn't the appro…Read more
  •  563
    The Philosophers' Brief on Chimpanzee Personhood
    Proposed Brief by Amici Curiae Philosophers in Support of the Petitioner-Appelllant Court of Appeals, State of New York,. 2018.
    In this brief, we argue that there is a diversity of ways in which humans (Homo sapiens) are ‘persons’ and there are no non-arbitrary conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can include all humans and exclude all nonhuman animals. To do so we describe and assess the four most prominent conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can be found in the rulings concerning Kiko and Tommy, with particular focus on the most recent decision, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc v Lavery.
  •  544
    Animal moral psychologies
    In John M. Doris & Manuel Vargas (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Observations of animals engaging in apparently moral behavior have led academics and the public alike to ask whether morality is shared between humans and other animals. Some philosophers explicitly argue that morality is unique to humans, because moral agency requires capacities that are only demonstrated in our species. Other philosophers argue that some animals can participate in morality because they possess these capacities in a rudimentary form. Scientists have also joined the discussion, …Read more
  •  359
    Normative Practices of Other Animals
    In Aaron Zimmerman, Karen Jones & Mark Timmons (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology, . pp. 57-83. 2018.
    Traditionally, discussions of moral participation – and in particular moral agency – have focused on fully formed human actors. There has been some interest in the development of morality in humans, as well as interest in cultural differences when it comes to moral practices, commitments, and actions. However, until relatively recently, there has been little focus on the possibility that nonhuman animals have any role to play in morality, save being the objects of moral concern. Moreover, when n…Read more
  •  355
    Our understanding of other minds: theory of mind and the intentional stance
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (7): 12-24. 2000.
    Psychologists distinguish between intentional systems which have beliefs and those which are also able to attribute beliefs to others. The ability to do the latter is called having a 'theory of mind', and many cognitive ethologists are hoping to find evidence for this ability in animal behaviour. I argue that Dennett's theory entails that any intentional system that interacts with another intentional system (such as vervet monkeys and chess-playing computers) has a theory of mind, which would ma…Read more
  •  308
    Chimpanzee Theory of Mind: Looking in All the Wrong Places?
    Mind and Language 20 (5): 521-536. 2005.
    : I respond to an argument presented by Daniel Povinelli and Jennifer Vonk that the current generation of experiments on chimpanzee theory of mind cannot decide whether chimpanzees have the ability to reason about mental states. I argue that Povinelli and Vonk's proposed experiment is subject to their own criticisms and that there should be a more radical shift away from experiments that ask subjects to predict behavior. Further, I argue that Povinelli and Vonk's theoretical commitments should l…Read more
  •  279
    Interpreting autism: A critique of Davidson on thought and language
    Philosophical Psychology 15 (3): 317-332. 2002.
    Donald Davidson's account of interpretation purports to be a priori , though I argue that the empirical facts about interpretation, theory of mind, and autism must be considered when examining the merits of Davidson's view. Developmental psychologists have made plausible claims about the existence of some people with autism who use language but who are unable to interpret the minds of others. This empirical claim undermines Davidson's theoretical claims that all speakers must be interpreters of …Read more
  •  231
    Critter psychology: On the possibility of nonhuman animal folk psychology
    In Daniel D. Hutto & Matthew Ratcliffe (eds.), Folk Psychology Re-Assessed, Kluwer/springer Press. pp. 191--209. 2007.
    When we ask the question whether animals have their own folk psychology, we’re asking whether any other species has a commonsense conception of psychological phenomenon. Different versions of this question have been discussed over the past 25 years, but no clear answer has emerged. Perhaps one reason for this lack of progress is that we don’t clearly understand the question. I defend a two-fold view of folk psychology that takes as central the capacity to engage in some folk psychological pra…Read more
  •  184
    A review of Personhood, Ethics, and Animal Cognition: Situating Animals in Hare’s Two-Level Utilitarianism, by Gary E. Varner. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. xv + 336. H/b £40.23. and The Philosophy of Animal Minds, edited by Robert W. Lurz. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pp. 320. P/b £20.21.
  •  179
    The Folk Psychological Spiral: Explanation, Regulation, and Language
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (S1): 50-67. 2015.
    The view that folk psychology is primarily mindreading beliefs and desires has come under challenge in recent years. I have argued that we also understand others in terms of individual properties such as personality traits and generalizations from past behavior, and in terms of group properties such as stereotypes and social norms (Andrews 2012). Others have also argued that propositional attitude attribution isn’t necessary for predicting others’ behavior, because this can be done in terms of t…Read more
  •  177
    The debates about the form of folk psychology and the potential eliminability of folk psychology rest on a particular view about how humans understand other minds. That is, though folk psychology is described as --œour commonsense conception of psychological phenomena--� (Churchland 1981, p. 67), there have been implicit assumptions regarding the nature of that commonsense conception. It has been assumed that folk psychology involves two practices, the prediction and explanation of behavior. And…Read more
  •  173
    Confronting Language, Representation, and Belief: A Limited Defense of Mental Continuity
    with Ljiljana Radenovic
    In Todd Shackelford & Jennifer Vonk (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Evolutionary Psychology, Oxford University Press. pp. 39-60. 2012.
    According to the mental continuity claim (MCC), human mental faculties are physical and beneficial to human survival, so they must have evolved gradually from ancestral forms and we should expect to see their precursors across species. Materialism of mind coupled with Darwin’s evolutionary theory leads directly to such claims and even today arguments for animal mental properties are often presented with the MCC as a premise. However, the MCC has been often challenged among contemporary scholars.…Read more
  •  153
    Chimpanzee theory of mind: Looking in all the wrong places?
    Mind and Language 20 (5): 521-536. 2005.
    I respond to an argument presented by Daniel Povinelli and Jennifer Vonk that the current generation of experiments on chimpanzee theory of mind cannot decide whether chimpanzees have the ability to reason about mental states. I argue that Povinelli and Vonk’s proposed experiment is subject to their own criticisms and that there should be a more radical shift away from experiments that ask subjects to predict behavior. Further, I argue that Povinelli and Vonk’s theoretical commitments should lea…Read more
  •  152
    Perhaps because both explanation and prediction are key components to understanding, philosophers and psychologists often portray these two abilities as though they arise from the same competence, and sometimes they are taken to be the same competence. When explanation and prediction are associated in this way, they are taken to be two expressions of a single cognitive capacity that differ from one another only pragmatically. If the difference between prediction and explanation of human behavior…Read more
  •  140
    Telling tales
    Philosophical Psychology 22 (2): 227-235. 2009.
    In the twenty-five or so years since Paul Churchland proposed its elimination, defenders of folk psychology have argued for the ubiquity of propositional attitude attribution in human social cognition. If we didn’t understand others in terms of their beliefs and desires, we would see others as ‘‘baffling ciphers’’ and it would be ‘‘the end of the world’’. Because the world continues, and we seem to predict and explain what others do with a remarkable degree of accuracy, the advocates of folk psy…Read more
  •  129
    Telling Stories without Words
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (6-8): 6-8. 2009.
    In this review article of Dan Hutto's bok Folk Psychological Narratives: The Sociocultural Basis of Understanding Reasons, I argue that we can take a functional approach to FP that identifies it with the practice of explaining behaviour -- that is, we can understand folk psychology as having the purpose of explaining behaviour and promoting social cohesion by making others’ behaviour comprehensible, without thinking that this ability must be limited to those with linguistic abilities. One reason…Read more
  •  126
    While philosophers have been interested in animals since ancient times, in the last few decades the subject of animal minds has emerged as a major topic in philosophy. _The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds_ is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising nearly fifty chapters by a team of international contributors, the _Handbook_ is divided into eight parts: Mental representat…Read more
  •  125
    Animal cognition
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2010.
    Entry for the Stanford Encylcopedia of Philosophy.
  •  121
    Life in a Cage
    The Philosophers' Magazine 76 72-77. 2017.
    Personhood is not a redundant category, but a social cluster kind. On this view, chimpanzees have their own kind of personhood profile. Seeing that chimpanzees have a personhood profile allows us to argue that chimpanzees like Tommy are individuals who deserve rights under the law. If chimpanzee personhood is a matter of public policy that needs to be decided by society, then learning more about the person profiles of chimpanzees will be essential in making this case. As the public learns what …Read more
  •  117
    Interpreting the baboon (review)
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (1): 5-6. 2008.
  •  109
    I argue that the behavior of other agents is insufficiently described in current debates as a dichotomy between tacit theory (attributing beliefs and desires to predict behavior) and simulation theory (imagining what one would do in similar circumstances in order to predict behavior). I introduce two questions about the foundation and development of our ability both to attribute belief and to simulate it. I then propose that there is one additional method used to predict behavior, namely, an ind…Read more
  •  102
    Anthropomorphism, anthropectomy, and the null hypothesis
    with Brian Huss
    Biology and Philosophy 29 (5): 711-729. 2014.
    We examine the claim that the methodology of psychology leads to a bias in animal cognition research against attributing “anthropomorphic” properties to animals . This charge is examined in light of a debate on the role of folk psychology between primatologists who emphasize similarities between humans and other apes, and those who emphasize differences. We argue that while in practice there is sometimes bias, either in the formulation of the null hypothesis or in the preference of Type-II error…Read more
  •  98
    According to both the traditional model of folk psychology and the social intelligence hypothesis, our folk psychological notions of belief and desire developed in order to make better predictions of behavior, and the fundamental role for our folk psychological notions of belief and desire are for making more accurate predictions of behavior (than predictions made without appeal to folk psychological notions). My strategy in this paper is to show that these claims are false. I argue that we need…Read more
  •  96
    Biology and Philosophy, forthcoming. Following recent arguments that there is no logical problem with attributing mental or agential states to animals, I address the epistemological problem of how to go about making accurate attributions. I suggest that there is a two-part general method for determining whether a psychological property can be accurately attributed to a member of another species: folk expert opinion and functionality. This method is based on well-known assessments used to attribu…Read more
  •  95
    Once upon a time, not too long ago, the question about apes and ethics had to do with moral standing—do apes have interests or rights that humans ought to respect? Given the fifty years of research on great ape cognition, life history, social organization, and behavior, the answer to that question seems obvious. Apes have emotions and projects, they can be harmed, and they have important social relationships
  •  92
    Speaking without interpreting: A reply to bouma on autism and Davidsonian interpretation
    with Ljiljana Radenovic
    Philosophical Psychology 19 (5). 2006.
    We clarify some points previously made by Andrews, and defend the claim that Davidson's account of belief can be and is challenged by the existence of some people with autism. We argue that both Bouma and Andrews (Philosophical Psychology, 15) blurred the subtle distinctions between the psychological concepts of theory of mind and joint attention and the Davidsonian concepts of interpretation and triangulation. And we accept that appeal to control group studies is not the appropriate place to lo…Read more
  •  85
    The first step in the case for great ape equality: The argument for other minds
    Etica and Animali: The Great Ape Project 131-141. 1996.
    A defense of equality for great apes must begin with an understanding of the opposition and an acknowledgement of the most basic point of disagreement. For great apes to gain status as persons in our community, we must begin by determining what the multitude of different definitions of "person" have in common. Finding that great apes fulfill the requirements of any one specific theory of personhood is insufficient, for these theories are highly controversial, and a critique of the theory will un…Read more