Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

The Journal of Philosophy Vol. 110, No. 6, June 2013

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

The Journal of Philosophy Vol. 110, No. 6, June 2013

Article excerpt

Expressive Communication and Continuity Skepticism, DORIT BAR-ON

Continuity skeptics seek to establish on conceptual grounds that animal minds, understanding, and communication differ so greatly from ours that the two cannot be intelligibly regarded as located along a natural continuum. Even if there is no denying that, biologically speaking, we came from the beasts, human mental and communicative capacities as we now know them cannot be illuminated by seeing them as descendant from nonhuman ancestors. This paper argues that proper appreciation of the role expressive behavior plays in the lives of creatures capable of it, and the kind of communication it affords, point to a way of meeting the continuity skeptic's challenge. This is so because it provides a sensible "middle ground" poised between the human and nonhuman poles that defenders of continuity skepticism so often contrast, and it can shed light on what could have put our nonhuman ancestors on their way to human mindedness and language.--Correspondence to: dbar@email.unc.edu

Against the New Racial Naturalism, ADAM HOCHMAN

Support for the biological concept of race declined slowly but steadily during the second half of the twentieth century. …

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