Cognitive ethology and applied philosophy: The significance of an evolutionary biology of mind

Marc Bekoff, Dale Jamieson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The broad field of cognitive ethology, in which internal mental states are inferred from the behavior they explain, is receiving increased attention nowadays from diverse scientists and philosophers. The nature of the results and how they are presented greatly influence how humans assess their place in the natural world and how they view other animals. The attribution of consciousness and intelligence to other animals suggests that they have moral rights. The results of comparative cognitive ethological analyses and how they are presented may play a large role in defining the domain of morally permissible research, and in the development of research strategies including decisions on feeding and housing, treatment, handling, and what happens to animal subjects when the research is completed. Scientists and philosophers interested in the evolution of behavior and mental continuity can have a significant impact on how others view the world.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)156-159
    Number of pages4
    JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
    Volume5
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 1990

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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