Meta-cognition in animals: a skeptical look
Carruthers (Peter)
Source: Mind and Language, 23 (2008), 58-89
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. This paper examines the recent literature on meta-cognitive processes in non-human animals, arguing that in each case the data admit of a simpler, purely first-order, explanation.
  2. The topics discussed include the alleged monitoring of states of certainty and uncertainty, knowledge-seeking behavior in conditions of uncertainty, and the capacity to know whether or not the information needed to solve some problem is stored in memory.
  3. The first-order explanations advanced all assume that beliefs and desires come in various different strengths, or degrees.

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