For discussion and comments, thanks to Greg Currie, Martin Davies, Julia Driver, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Mark Greenberg, Celia Heyes, Ram Neta, Alva Noë, Hanna Pickard, Joëlle Proust, Nicholas Rawlins, Kim Sterelny, Helen Steward, and members of audiences to whom I’ve given this paper on various occasions.
Animal Action in the Space of Reasons
Version of Record online: 30 APR 2003
Mind & Language
Volume 18, Issue 3, pages 231–257, June 2003
How to Cite
Hurley, S. (2003), Animal Action in the Space of Reasons. Mind & Language, 18: 231–257. doi: 10.1111/1468-0017.00223
- Issue online: 30 APR 2003
- Version of Record online: 30 APR 2003
Abstract: I defend the view that we should not overintellectualize the mind. Nonhuman animals can occupy islands of practical rationality: they can have context-bound reasons for action even though they lack full conceptual abilities. Holism and the possibility of mistake are required for such reasons to be the agent's reasons, but these requirements can be met in the absence of inferential promiscuity. Empirical work with animals is used to illustrate the possibility that reasons for action could be bound to symbolic or social contexts, and connections are made to simulationist accounts of cognitive skills.