Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Consciousness

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1611-1

This chapter will address the extent to which nonhuman animals are conscious. Most important perhaps is what criteria should be used in making such a determination. We have certainly come a long way from the Cartesian view that animals are mere “automata” and do not even have conscious experience. In addition to the obvious and significant behavioral similarities between humans and many animals, much more is known today about our neurophysiological and genetic similarities. Still, there are some grey areas and genuine difficulties in interpreting some experimental results pertaining to animal cognition and in analyzing the comparative neuroanatomy.

The more general “problem of other minds,” including the so-called argument by analogy, is introduced in the section “Animals and the Problem of Other Minds”. In the section “Lloyd Morgan’s Canon and Parsimony,” “Morgan’s Canon” and the related principle of simplicity is addressed especially as they pertain to attributions of animal...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern IndianaEvansvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sarah Dunphy-Lelii
    • 1
  1. 1.Bard CollegeAnnandale-On-HudsonUSA