Hayley Clatterbuck
University of Wisconsin, Madison
The theory-theory of human uniqueness posits that the capacity to theorize, in a way strongly analogous to theorizing in scientific practice, was a key innovation in the hominid lineage and was responsible for many of our unique cognitive traits. One of the central arguments that its proponents have used to support the claim that animals are not theorists, the logical problem, bears strong similarities to Hempel's theoretician's dilemma, which purports to show that theories are unnecessary. This similarity threatens to undermine both the claim that theorizing serves a unique, adaptive role in human cognition and our ability to test for the presence of theories. I examine two historical responses to the theoretician's dilemma and argue that they open up strategies for experimentally testing for theoretical ability in other animals.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2016, 2018
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12331
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,008
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):201-202.
Primate Cognition.Amanda Seed & Michael Tomasello - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):407-419.

View all 43 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Craig's Theorem and Scientific Instrumentalism.Cheng-Hung Lin - 1985 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
The Theoretician's Dilemma: A Study in the Logic of Theory Construction.Carl G. Hempel - 1958 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 2:173-226.
Identity and the Heuristic Dilemma.Michael Anthony Brown - 1987 - Dissertation, Emory University
Imagination and the Ethical Ideal.Nathan Llywellyn Tierney - 1989 - Dissertation, Columbia University
The Hedonist's Dilemma.Dale Dorsey - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (2):173-196.
Divine Hoorays: Some Parallels Between Expressivism and Religious Ethics.Nicholas Unwin - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):659-684.
Hempel's Dilemma and Domains of Physics.P. Bokulich - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):646-651.


Added to PP index

Total views
103 ( #113,562 of 2,505,176 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #209,579 of 2,505,176 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes