Chapter

<b>The mental lives of infants and animals</b>

Richard Gaskin

in Experience and the World's Own Language

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780199287253
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603969 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199287252.003.0004
 The mental lives of infants and animals

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McDowell’s individualism and intellectualism about the ‘order of justification’ commits him to taking an unattractive line on infant and animal consciousness: he has to deny that infants and non-human animals have contentful experience. He allows that they have perceptual sensitivity to their environments, arguing that this sensitivity — though in the same genus as our experience — is of a different species. However, he does nothing to justify the ‘same genus’ thesis, and a number of his concomitant claims makes that thesis problematic for him. It is argued that infants and animals can benefit from our conceptual capacities in order to enjoy contentful experiences. We should ascribe to infants and animals fully conscious experience of things of certain sorts, transcendentally constituted by our powers of designation and classification.

Keywords: individualism; intellectualism; order of justification; infant mentality; animal mentality; perception; experience; conceptual capacities

Chapter.  13135 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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