Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Behavior, philosophy: behavior ist the set of observable changes in the describable state of living organisms that are initiated by these organisms themselves, or which are a reaction to external stimuli, in which there is a certain choice of the reaction. Flanking thoughts do not belong to behavior, since an arbitrary extension of the frame of reference would make a determination of the behavior impossible. See also behaviorism, psychology, mentalism, naturalism, observation.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Ruth G. Millikan Verschiedene Arten von zweckgerichtetem Verhalten in Dominik Perler, Markus Wild (Hg) Der Geist der Tiere Frankfurt 2005

Perler I 202
Behavior/Millikan: why can behavior not be investigated without referring to biological purpose?
I 203
There can be an infinite number of possible descriptions (> language, infinite) that can be given for a behavior. The mouse runs towards its hole, but also to the north, towards London, or towards the broom. Here, it is clear that only the former description is relevant.
I 204
That mice run away from cats is the key. Because it is a recurring phenomenon. That they are running towards a broom is not a recurring phenomenon.
I 205
Not any output of an animal is relevant behavior. E.g. "Knee twitching" has no survival value. E.g. But sneezing probably has one.
I 207
For example, if my blinking makes you smile, as a biological purpose, I will not recognize this purpose, I will not blink because I think of that purpose.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Millk I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987

Perler I
Dominik Perler
Markus Wild
Der Geist der Tiere Frankfurt 2005

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-04-20