Allen, Colin (1997) Animal cognition and animal minds. [Preprint]
Psychology, according to a standard dictionary definition, is the science of mind and behavior. For a major part of the twentieth century, (nonhuman) animal psychology was on a behavioristic track that explicitly denied the possibility of a science of animal mind. While many comparative psychologists remain wedded to behavioristic methods, they have more recently adopted a cognitive, information-processing approach that does not adhere to the strictures of stimulus-response explanations of animal behavior. Cognitive ethologists are typically willing to go much further than comparative psychologists by adopting folk-psychological terms to explain the behavior of nonhuman animals. This different attitudes of many scientists presupposes a distinction between cognitive and mental state attributions that is not commonly articulated. This paper seeks to understand that distinction.
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