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No Speech, Never Mind!

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In a series of classic papers, Donald Davidson put forward an ingenious argument to challenge the ascription of minds to nonlinguistic animals. Davidson's conclusions have been mercilessly demolished in the literature by cognitive ethologists, but none of them have directly addressed Davidson's argument. First, this paper is an attempt to elucidate and evaluate Davidson's central argument for denying minds to nonlinguistic animals. Davidson's central argument puts forth a challenge to those of us who want to attribute minds to nonlinguistic animals. Second, this paper uses counterexamples offered in the cognitive ethology literature to meet Davidson's challenge directly.
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Keywords: Animal Minds; Cognitive Ethology; Donald Davidson; Interpretation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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