Assessing animal cognition: ethological and philosophical perspectives.

  title={Assessing animal cognition: ethological and philosophical perspectives.},
  author={Colin Allen},
  journal={Journal of animal science},
  volume={76 1},
  • C. Allen
  • Published 1998
  • Medicine
  • Journal of animal science
Developments in the scientific and philosophical study of animal cognition and mentality are of great importance to animal scientists who face continued public scrutiny of the treatment of animals in research and agriculture. Because beliefs about animal minds, animal cognition, and animal consciousness underlie many people's views about the ethical treatment of nonhuman animals, it has become increasingly difficult for animal scientists to avoid these issues. Animal scientists may learn from… Expand

Topics from this paper

Old and New Approaches to Animal Cognition: There Is Not “One Cognition”
It is argued that the term “cognition” has often been used by applying an anthropocentric viewpoint rather than a biocentric one and that to better understand animal minds, comparative researchers should focus much more on questions and experiments that are ecologically valid. Expand
Ethological validation and the assessment of anxiety-like behaviours: methodological comparison of classical analyses and structural approaches
Evidence is found that the "ethological validation" recourse to an a priori interpretation for a given behavioural variable may be deceptive and the idea that the meaning of a behavioural variable should be restricted to the general context where it arose is defended. Expand
Board-invited review: the ethical and behavioral bases for farm animal welfare legislation.
The roles of ethics and science in policy decisions are examined, how scientific knowledge relative to animal behavior has been incorporated into animal welfare policy is discussed, and opportunities for additional refinement of animal welfare science are identified that may facilitate ethical and policy decisions about animal care. Expand
Extended parenting and the evolution of cognition
It is shown that corvids have larger body sizes, longer development times, extended parenting and larger relative brain sizes than other passerines, and the proposed extended parenting (protracted parent–offspring association) is pivotal in the evolution of cognition. Expand
Theory of mind in dogs? Examining method and concept
The finding that dogs and wolves pass on some trials of a putative theory-of-mind test and fail on others is as informative about the methods and concepts of the research as about the subjects, and an intermediate stage of ability, a rudimentary theory of mind, is called for. Expand
Ethical Debate on Animal Research
A large number of scientists and governments make statement that animal testing should cause as little suffering to animals as possible and that animal tests should only be performed where necessary, but dialogues and protests against it are also evident. Expand
The Boundary of Animality
In this paper I explore some limits of the generalized symmetry of actor-network theory. The paper is based on a study on cows, farming technology, and farming science, and is empirically based on anExpand
Self-controlled visual discrimination learning of group-housed dwarf goats (Capra hircus): behavioral strategies and effects of relocation on learning and memory.
The results demonstrate the usefulness of a self-controlled learning paradigm to assess learning abilities of social species in their normal social settings, and may be especially relevant for captive animals to improve their welfare. Expand
Basic Tenets of Clinical Research
Clinical research has to be done under an ethical ambit for scientific acceptance and as a trendsetting phenomenon for ethical work. Expand
Meat Production in Eastern Ethiopia
This study was conducted in Ethiopian Somali (Jigjig and Shinile Zones) and Afar regions from April to June 2012 to assess camel slaughtering practices and camel meat processing and preservationExpand


Animal cognition and animal minds
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 trackExpand
Cognitive Ethology: Slayers, Skeptics, and Proponents
In this paper we identify three major groups of people (among some of whose members there are blurred distinctions) with different views on cognitive ethology, namely, slayers, skeptics, andExpand
Cognitive Ethology and the Intentionality of Animal Behaviour
: Cognitive ethologists are in need of a good theoretical framework for attributing intentional states. Heyes and Dickinson (1990) present criteria that they claim are necessary for an intentionalExpand
Prospects for a cognitive ethology.
What, if anything, do animals think about? Do they have anything at all comparable to mental experiences as we know them? Are any of them ever aware of themselves, their surroundings, or the resultsExpand
Animal mind and the argument from design.
Darwin provided the natural evolutionary mechanisms that eliminated the need for positing a divine creator to explain the structure of animals; he was thus able to treat the historical problem of organic evolution by providing a historical solution. Expand
White Queen Psychology and Other Essays for Alice.
Ruth Millikan's extended argument for a biological view of the study of cognition in Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories caught the attention of the philosophical community.Expand
The Rediscovery of the Mind
In this work, John Searle launches an attack on current orthodoxies in the philosophy of mind. More than anything else, he argues, it is the neglect of consciousness that results in so muchExpand
Farm Animal Cognition
Although there may be task-specific differences in performance between wild and domestic animals, there is no evidence for any generally reduced cognitive capacity in domestic animals. It is notExpand
How Monkeys See the World: Inside the Mind of Another Species
Cheney and Seyfarth enter the minds of vervet monkeys and other primates to explore the nature of primate intelligence and the evolution of cognition. "This reviewer had to be restrained fromExpand
Folk Psychology Won't Go Away: Response to Allen and Bekoff
: Responding to Allen and Bekoff's (this issue) critique of Heyes and Dickinson's (1990) analysis of the intentionality of animal action, we reiterate that our approach does not assume that aExpand