The question of animal technical capacities


  • Ana Cuevas Badallo Universidad de Salamanca



artifact, animal tools, intentionalit, ethology, behavioral plasticity


The ability to use and make technical artifacts has been considered exclusive to human beings. However, recent findings in ethology in light of observations made in nature and in laboratory show the opposite. In the area of philosophy of technology there are few exceptions that take into account the ability of some non-human animals to manufacture and use tools. In this paper I want to show some reasons to reconsider other possibilities. It seems that capacities such as intentionality, culture or even the complexity of the structures of manufactured object are not exclusive to human beings. I will suggest a different way of analyzing objects created by non-human animals, one that tries to explain the gradualness of the structure, but also the plasticity of the behavior exhibited by non-human animals. These two elements (structure and behavioral plasticity) allow a deeper understanding of the great variety of objects that other animals also manufacture and use.


Author Biography

Ana Cuevas Badallo, Universidad de Salamanca

Directora del Departamento de Filosofía, Lógica y Estética
Profesora Titular del Área de Lógica y Filosofía de la Ciencia


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How to Cite

Cuevas Badallo, A. (2019). The question of animal technical capacities. Revista De Humanidades De Valparaíso, (14), 139–170.