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Mindreading AnimalsThe Debate over What Animals Know about Other Minds$
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Robert W. Lurz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016056

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016056.001.0001

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Solving the Logical Problem for Perceptual State Attribution

Solving the Logical Problem for Perceptual State Attribution

(p.67) 3 Solving the Logical Problem for Perceptual State Attribution
Mindreading Animals

Robert W. Lurz

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the pessimists’ argument that there is no point in solving the logical problem due to the existence of sufficiently strong empirical and theoretical grounds against mindreading in animals. It describes an abstract framework for solving the logical problem, along with a viable evolutionary theory of animal attribution of perceptual states. The framework and the theory together provide the foundation for designing experiments aimed at testing perceptual state attribution in animals which overcome the logical problem. The chapter outlines three types of experimental designs: visual perspective taking with chimpanzees using transparent colored barriers, visual perspective taking with chimpanzees using size-distorting barriers, and visual perspective taking with ravens, chimpanzees, and dogs using deceptive amodal completion stimuli. Finally, it discusses the appearance-reality mindreading theory.

Keywords:   mindreading, animals, evolutionary theory, perceptual states, experiments, logical problem, visual perspective taking, chimpanzees, appearance-reality mindreading theory, amodal completion stimuli

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