Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Mind, philosophy: the mind is understood to be the activity of thought in the philosophical tradition, or that which enables the human to think. In the tradition the mind is opposed to the body. This traditional concept of mind is often translated as spirit in English. Today the mind is equated with the set of cognitive abilities. See also consciousness, body-soul problem, mind/brain, cognition, computation, spirit.

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.

Author Item Summary Meta data
Joelle Proust Das intentionale Tier in D. Perler/M. Wild (Hg) Der Geist der Tiere Frankfurt/M. 2005

Perler I 239
Animal/mind/consciousness/Proust: what about the ability of animals to form hypotheses that might point to a "theory of the mind"? This is true only for primates and large sea mammals, not for dogs and cats, who have acquired their relatively comprehensive communication repertoire only through domestication and interaction with us.
E.g. shared attention: shared attention apparently implies a recognition of the fact that another has discovered an interesting object with its perception.
From this, however, the animal does not conceive the idea that its conspecific or the other has seen an object or knows a fact!
I 240
Primates do not perform spontaneous pointing gestures! They can only be teached if they are promised food.
Culture/Animal/Proust: e.g. washing potatoes: here nothing points to a pedagogic concern. The slowness of appropriation suggests that innovation is not acquired by either targeted education or imitation, it is about "stimulus intensification": the simple spatial proximity of a group member to the target object arouses the interest of the conspecifics for this type of object and leads to the testing of different possibilities of use.
Group behavior: also appeasement, etc. can be explained by simple social cooperation without mental representations. The animals do not need to know why they are doing the gestures.
Tactical deception maneuvers are often found in primates.
I 242
Instead of assuming that animals "lie", it is now acknowledged that these behaviors can be explained by the learning of effective actions in a particular situation.

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.

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

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-06-25