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Other Political Science Commons

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Selected Works

Culture

2015

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Full-Text Articles in Other Political Science

Politics Or Metaphysics? On Attributing Psychological Properties To Animals, Kristin Andrews Apr 2015

Politics Or Metaphysics? On Attributing Psychological Properties To Animals, Kristin Andrews

Kristin Andrews, PhD

Following recent arguments that there is no logical problem with attributing mental or agential states to animals, I address the epistemological problem of how to go about making accurate attributions. I suggest that there is a two-part general method for determining whether a psychological property can be accurately attributed to a member of another species: folk expert opinion and functionality. This method is based on well-known assessments used to attribute mental states to humans who are unable to self-ascribe due to an early stage of development or impairment, and can be used to describe social and emotional development as well ...