Constitutive and Phylogenetic Origins of Reason


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project examines constitutive conditions for having propositional attitudes. It associate these constitutive conditions with a discussion of what empirical evidence is relevant to showing that specific species have propositional attitudes; discusses what is known about which species have them; and criticizes armchair attempts to show that non-human animals could not have propositional attitudes. Finally, it develops a non-deflationary notion of reason, according to which a creature can reason, in at least a primitive but robust sense, if and only if the creature has propositional attitudes. The discussion involves a serious discussion of what it is about propositional structure that connects propositional attitudes with reason.