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Can Animals Be Persons?$
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Mark Rowlands

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190846039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190846039.001.0001

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Rational Animals

Rational Animals

(p.85) 5 Rational Animals
Can Animals Be Persons?

Mark Rowlands

Oxford University Press

There are no good reasons for denying that animals are rational, and many good reasons for thinking that they are. Many animals have displayed impressive capacities for causal reasoning. And some animals have displayed the ability to engage in logical reasoning operations such as modus tollendo ponens. The common reasons that have been used to deny logical reasoning capacities to animals rest on a series of clear confusions concerning the nature of logical inference and what it is to engage in such inference. It is likely that many animals execute logical inferences in the way humans would if they had not developed external formal structures to scaffold the reasoning processes.

Keywords:   causal reasoning, deductive inference, language of thought, logical reasoning, mental models, scaffolding

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