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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 …


Are Apes’ Responses To Pointing Gestures Intentional?, Olivia Sultanescu, Kristin Andrews Apr 2015

Are Apes’ Responses To Pointing Gestures Intentional?, Olivia Sultanescu, Kristin Andrews

Kristin Andrews, PhD

This paper examines the meaningfulness of pointing in great apes. We appeal to Hannah Ginsborg’s conception of primitive normativity, which provides an adequate criterion for establishing whether a response is meaningful, and we attempt to make room for a conception according to which there is no fundamental difference between the responses of human infants and those of other great apes to pointing gestures. This conception is an alternative to Tomasello’s view that pointing gestures and reactions to them reveal a fundamental difference between humans and other apes.