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Can animals act for reasons?


Glock, Hans Johann (2009). Can animals act for reasons? Inquiry, 52(3):232-254.

Abstract

This essay argues that nonlinguistic animals qualify not just for externalist notions of rationality (maximizing biological fitness or utility), but also for internal ones. They can act for reasons in several senses: their behaviour is subject to intentional explanations, they can act in the light of reasonsprovided that the latter are conceived as objective facts rather than subjective mental statesand they can deliberate. Finally, even if they could not, it would still be misguided to maintain that animals are capable only of (mechanical) behaviour, not of (intentional) action.

Abstract

This essay argues that nonlinguistic animals qualify not just for externalist notions of rationality (maximizing biological fitness or utility), but also for internal ones. They can act for reasons in several senses: their behaviour is subject to intentional explanations, they can act in the light of reasonsprovided that the latter are conceived as objective facts rather than subjective mental statesand they can deliberate. Finally, even if they could not, it would still be misguided to maintain that animals are capable only of (mechanical) behaviour, not of (intentional) action.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:English
Date:June 2009
Deposited On:22 Jun 2009 12:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:16
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0020-174X
Additional Information:This is an electronic version of an article published in Glock, Hans-Johann(2009)'Can Animals Act For Reasons?',Inquiry,52:3,232 — 254. Inquiry is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713393858
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/00201740902917127

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