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Disagreement & classification in comparative cognitive science

Boyle, Alexandria ORCID: 0000-0001-8827-5479 (2023) Disagreement & classification in comparative cognitive science. Noûs. ISSN 0029-4624

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Identification Number: 10.1111/nous.12480


Comparative cognitive science often involves asking questions like ‘Do nonhumans have C?’ where C is a capacity we take humans to have. These questions frequently generate unproductive disagreements, in which one party affirms and the other denies that nonhumans have the relevant capacity on the basis of the same evidence. I argue that these questions can be productively understood as questions about natural kinds: do nonhuman capacities fall into the same natural kinds as our own? Understanding such questions in this way has several advantages: it preserves the intuition that these are substantive empirical questions worth asking; it helps us to understand why they so frequently give rise to disagreements of the kind described; and it provides clues about how to diagnose and resolve them.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 16:51
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 07:51

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