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Agency, intelligence and reasons in animals


Glock, Hans-Johann (2019). Agency, intelligence and reasons in animals. Philosophy, 94(04):645-671.

Abstract

What kind of activity are non-human animals capable of? A venerable tradition insists that lack of language confines them to ‘mere behaviour’. This article engages with this ‘lingualism’ by developing a positive, bottom-up case for the possibility of animal agency. Higher animals cannot just act, they can act intelligently, rationally, intentionally and for reasons. In developing this case I draw on the interplay of behaviour, cognition and conation, the unduly neglected notion of intelligence and its connection to rationality, the need to recognize that reasons are objective conditions, and the difference between the ability to act for reasons and the capacity to reflect on reasons.

Abstract

What kind of activity are non-human animals capable of? A venerable tradition insists that lack of language confines them to ‘mere behaviour’. This article engages with this ‘lingualism’ by developing a positive, bottom-up case for the possibility of animal agency. Higher animals cannot just act, they can act intelligently, rationally, intentionally and for reasons. In developing this case I draw on the interplay of behaviour, cognition and conation, the unduly neglected notion of intelligence and its connection to rationality, the need to recognize that reasons are objective conditions, and the difference between the ability to act for reasons and the capacity to reflect on reasons.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Philosophy
Language:English
Date:1 October 2019
Deposited On:13 Feb 2020 10:12
Last Modified:14 Feb 2020 08:35
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0031-8191
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0031819119000275

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