Dhein, Kelle

Though well established in mammals, the cognitive map hypothesis has engendered a decades-long, ongoing debate in insect navigation studies involving many of the field's most prominent researchers. In this paper, I situate the debate within the broader context of 20th century animal behavior research and argue that the debate persists because competing research groups are guided by different constellations of epistemic aims, theoretical commitments, preferred animal subjects, and investigative practices. The expanded history of the cognitive map provided in this paper shows that more is at stake in the cognitive map debate than the truth value of propositions characterizing insect cognition. What is at stake is the future direction of an extraordinarily productive tradition of insect navigation research stretching back to Karl von Frisch. Disciplinary labels like ethology, comparative psychology, and behaviorism became less relevant at the turn of the 21st century, but as I show, the different ways of knowing animals associated with these disciplines continue to motivate debates about animal cognition. This examination of scientific disagreement surrounding the cognitive map hypothesis also has significant consequences for philosophers' use of cognitive map research as a case study.