Chrysippus' dog as a case study in non-linguistic cognition

In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. pp. 52--71 (2009)
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I critique an ancient argument for the possibility of non-linguistic deductive inference. The argument, attributed to Chrysippus, describes a dog whose behavior supposedly reflects disjunctive syllogistic reasoning. Drawing on contemporary robotics, I urge that we can equally well explain the dog's behavior by citing probabilistic reasoning over cognitive maps. I then critique various experimentally-based arguments from scientific psychology that echo Chrysippus's anecdotal presentation.



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Michael Rescorla
University of California, Los Angeles

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