Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 347–355 | Cite as

Methodological Reflections on Exploring Beliefs in Animals

  • Manuel BremerEmail author


A theory of the beliefs of non-human animals is not closed to us, only because we do not have beliefs of their kind. Starting from a theory of human beliefs and working on a building block model of propositional attitudes a theory of animal beliefs is viable. Such a theory is an example of the broader conception of a heterophenomenological approach to animal cognition. The theory aims at outlining the crucial differences between human and animal beliefs as well as the relations between these attitudes and theories of them. By this it contributes both to a theory of human cognition and to a theory of the evolutionary origin of human cognition. The capacities of animals can thus be appreciated without making animals minor humans. Human cognition can be seen in its uniqueness without cutting the ties to its evolutionary origin.


Cognitive ethology Cognitive science Heterophenomenology Animal cognition Animal beliefs 

Methodologische Überlegungen zu tierischen Überzeugungen


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophisches InstitutUniversität DüsseldorfDusseldorfGermany

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