Piero Martinetti’s writing La psiche degli animali (1920) begins with a question that is unavoidable for those who investigate animal life in an anthropological-philosophical perspective: «Is there an animal mind?» In order to answer this question, the author moves on two different levels. On the first level, Martinetti criticizes Descartes’ mechanistic stance and its successors in the philosophy and physiology between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (in particular, Martinetti criticizes Jacques Loeb’s theory of tropisms). On the second level, Martinetti develops an original theory: the animal’s mind is primarily free, plastic and, in its own way, intelligent, whereas instinct would be nothing but intelligent action that has «sedimented» in the species behavioural repertoire and has become automatic. This thesis, however problematic from an ethological standpoint, implies that the cognition processes of animals and human beings have a common origin. Moreover, it can provide a solid argument for the basic, ethical aim of Martinetti’s writing: to give philosophical support to the adoption of an attitude of piety towards animals.

"Il presentimento pietoso non ci inganna". L'unità di istinto e intelligenza in "La psiche degli animali" di Piero Martinetti (1920) / Brentari, Carlo. - In: HUMANITAS. - ISSN 0018-7461. - STAMPA. - LXXIII (2018):3(2018), pp. 416-426.

"Il presentimento pietoso non ci inganna". L'unità di istinto e intelligenza in "La psiche degli animali" di Piero Martinetti (1920)

Carlo Brentari
2018

Abstract

Piero Martinetti’s writing La psiche degli animali (1920) begins with a question that is unavoidable for those who investigate animal life in an anthropological-philosophical perspective: «Is there an animal mind?» In order to answer this question, the author moves on two different levels. On the first level, Martinetti criticizes Descartes’ mechanistic stance and its successors in the philosophy and physiology between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (in particular, Martinetti criticizes Jacques Loeb’s theory of tropisms). On the second level, Martinetti develops an original theory: the animal’s mind is primarily free, plastic and, in its own way, intelligent, whereas instinct would be nothing but intelligent action that has «sedimented» in the species behavioural repertoire and has become automatic. This thesis, however problematic from an ethological standpoint, implies that the cognition processes of animals and human beings have a common origin. Moreover, it can provide a solid argument for the basic, ethical aim of Martinetti’s writing: to give philosophical support to the adoption of an attitude of piety towards animals.
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Brentari, Carlo
"Il presentimento pietoso non ci inganna". L'unità di istinto e intelligenza in "La psiche degli animali" di Piero Martinetti (1920) / Brentari, Carlo. - In: HUMANITAS. - ISSN 0018-7461. - STAMPA. - LXXIII (2018):3(2018), pp. 416-426.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/212645
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