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Volume 50 • Number 3

July 2013


Animal Minds Are Real, (Distinctively) Human Minds Are Not

by Peter Carruthers

1. Introduction: A Different Kind of Mind? Everyone allows that human and animal minds are distinctively (indeed, massively) different in their manifest effects. Humans have been able to colonize nearly every corner of the planet, from the arctic, to deserts, to rainforests (and they did so in the absence of modern technological aids); they live together in large cooperative groups of unrelated individuals; they communicate with one another using the open-ended expressive resources of natural language; they are capable of cultural learning that accumulates over generations to result in agriculture, art, science, and advanced forms of technology; and they are remarkably thoughtful and inventive. There is much less agreement about how these manifest differences should be explained, however.

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ISSN: 2152-1123