To Understand a Cat

Methodology and philosophy

Sam S. Rakover | Haifa University
ISBN 9789027252067 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027292094 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
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To understand a cat: methodology and philosophy rests on the realization that the everyday behavior of a cat (but other animals too) should be understood through a new approach, namely methodological dualism. It appeals to mechanistic explanation models and to mentalistic explanation models. It puts up the methodological idea that these models have to be combined in one theoretical structure according to the scientific game-rules. This approach shows that specific mentalistic explanations are generated from explanation models or schemes, which meet the demands of the scientific games-rules; and it proposes a new theoretical structure called the multi-explanation theory to generate particular theories, which provide us with efficient explanations for behavioral phenomena. The book delves deep into anthropomorphism, and the complex question of whether a cat has consciousness and free will, and examines the intricate relations of the mental, the computational, and the neurophysiological.(Series A)
[Advances in Consciousness Research, 70] 2007.  xviii, 253 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“The book is innovative and unique in its approach of methodological dualism and of multi-explanation theory, which attempt to explain a specific behavior of a cat (and other animals) by an appeal to both mechanistic and mentalistic explanation models. I was particularly impressed by the way this approach is anchored to the thoughtful discussion of attributing consciousness and free will to the cat (Max). The author uses his broad and profound knowledge in the philosophy of science (my expertise) and in the philosophy of mind to develop his outstanding approach. Excellent, interesting, and thought-provoking ideas.”
“Rakover’s thesis calls for the use of a mentalistic language in the study of animal behavior, not as a pragmatic solution to the complexity of the subject matter, but rather as an essential ingredient of it. Rakover is a natural storyteller and a philosopher; triggered by the behaviors of his cat, he develops the concept of methodological dualism and presents it in an intuitive and witty style.”
“The result of Rakover's labors is a thought-provoking treatise covering an unusually large ground from the foundations of (behavioral) science and measurements to theory construction and testing to human-animal commensurability.”
Cited by

Cited by 4 other publications

Carr, Neil
2015. Defining Domesticated Animals and Exploring Their Uses by and Relationships with Humans within the Leisure Experience. In Domestic Animals and Leisure,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Rakover, Sam S.
2008. Is Facial Beauty an Innate Response to the Leonardian Proportion?. Empirical Studies of the Arts 26:2  pp. 155 ff. DOI logo
Rakover, Sam S.
2012. Psychology as an Associational Science: A Methodological Viewpoint. Open Journal of Philosophy 02:02  pp. 143 ff. DOI logo
Rakover, Sam S.
2013. Explaining the face-inversion effect: the face–scheme incompatibility (FSI) model. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 20:4  pp. 665 ff. DOI logo

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Consciousness Research

Consciousness research

Main BIC Subject

HPM: Philosophy of mind

Main BISAC Subject

PHI015000: PHILOSOPHY / Mind & Body
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2007013284 | Marc record