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Carrie Figdor, , . The Psychological Speciesism of Humanism
2020, Philosophical Studies [forthcoming]
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Carrie Figdor

Abstract: Humanists argue for assigning the highest moral status to all humans over any non-humans directly or indirectly on the basis of uniquely superior human cognitive abilities. They may also claim that humanism is the strongest position from which to combat racism, sexism, and other forms of within-species discrimination. I argue that changing conceptual foundations in comparative research and discoveries of advanced cognition in many non-human species reveal humanism’s psychological speciesism and its similarity with common justifications of within-species discrimination.

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Lavelle, J Suilin, , Kenny Smith. Do our modern skulls house stone-age minds?
2014, in M. Massimi (ed.), Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. Routledge
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by:

Summary: This is the fifth chapter of the book Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone. The chapter explores scientific interpretations of how our minds evolved, and some of the methodologies used in forming these interpretations. It relates evolutionary debates to a core issue in the philosophy of mind, namely, whether all knowledge comes from experience, or whether we have ‘inborn’ knowledge about certain aspects of our world.

Comment: Good introduction to evolutionary psychology and the debate about nativism for undergraduate students. It looks at examples coming from ecology such as beaver colonies to understand how the human mind might have adapted to solve specific tasks that our ancestors faced. It is the first chapter of the book dedicated to the philosophy of cognitive sciences. Useful in philosophy of science or philosophy of mind courses.

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