This chapter provides some elements for the critical evaluation of a particular philosophical approach to animal behavior: the argumentative strategy of marginal analogy. By marginal analogy, we mean the establishment of analogies between animal behavior in general on the one side and, on the other, some marginal behavioral processes and/or cognitive processes in humans (such as sleepwalking or reflex action), which occur without the aid of reflection or higher symbolic consciousness. In authors such as René Descartes, Ernst Cassirer, and Susanne Langer, the recourse to marginal analogy is essential from the argumentative perspective. It is, in fact, functional to the affirmation of the thesis of the qualitative difference of non-human animals. The critical discussion of marginal analogy, therefore, is a useful tool to overcome this thesis as well, in the direction of consideration of non-human behavior and cognition as a field of diffuse discontinuities. After the rejection of any analogy-based approach, much of the non-human experience may remain inaccessible to the human observer; what one can grasp, however, discloses a sphere of astounding biodiversity that calls for preservation.

How to Think About Human-Animal Differences in Thinking: Two Cases of Marginal Analogy in the Philosophical Explication of Animal Cognition / Brentari, Carlo. - STAMPA. - 7:(2022), pp. 73-93. [10.1007/978-3-031-04075-7_3]

How to Think About Human-Animal Differences in Thinking: Two Cases of Marginal Analogy in the Philosophical Explication of Animal Cognition

Brentari, Carlo
2022

Abstract

This chapter provides some elements for the critical evaluation of a particular philosophical approach to animal behavior: the argumentative strategy of marginal analogy. By marginal analogy, we mean the establishment of analogies between animal behavior in general on the one side and, on the other, some marginal behavioral processes and/or cognitive processes in humans (such as sleepwalking or reflex action), which occur without the aid of reflection or higher symbolic consciousness. In authors such as René Descartes, Ernst Cassirer, and Susanne Langer, the recourse to marginal analogy is essential from the argumentative perspective. It is, in fact, functional to the affirmation of the thesis of the qualitative difference of non-human animals. The critical discussion of marginal analogy, therefore, is a useful tool to overcome this thesis as well, in the direction of consideration of non-human behavior and cognition as a field of diffuse discontinuities. After the rejection of any analogy-based approach, much of the non-human experience may remain inaccessible to the human observer; what one can grasp, however, discloses a sphere of astounding biodiversity that calls for preservation.
Thinking: Bioengineering of Science and Art
Cham, Switzerland
Springer Nature Switzerland
978-3-031-04074-0
Brentari, Carlo
How to Think About Human-Animal Differences in Thinking: Two Cases of Marginal Analogy in the Philosophical Explication of Animal Cognition / Brentari, Carlo. - STAMPA. - 7:(2022), pp. 73-93. [10.1007/978-3-031-04075-7_3]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/353701
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