How Could We Know Whether Nonhuman Primates Understand Others' Internal Goals and Intentions? Solving Povinelli's Problem
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):449-481 (2011)
A persistent methodological problem in primate social cognition research has been how to determine experimentally whether primates represent the internal goals of other agents or just the external goals of their actions. This is an instance of Daniel Povinelli’s more general challenge that no experimental protocol currently used in the field is capable of distinguishing genuine mindreading animals from their complementary behavior-reading counterparts. We argue that current methods used to test for internal-goal attribution in primates do not solve Povinelli’s problem. To overcome the problem, a new type of experimental approach is needed, one which is supported by an alternative theoretical account of animal mindreading, called the appearance-reality mindreading (ARM) theory. We provide an outline of the ARM theory and show how it can be used to design a novel way to test for internal-goal attribution in chimpanzees. Unlike protocols currently in use, the experimental design presented here has the power, in principle and in practice, to distinguish genuine mindreading chimpanzees from those who predict others’ behavior solely on the basis of behavioral/environmental cues. Our solution to Povinelli’s problem has important consequences for a similar debate in developmental psychology over when preverbal infants should be credited with the ability to attribute internal goals. If what we argue for here in the case of nonhuman primates is sound, then the clearest tests for internal-goal attribution in infants will be those that test for attributions of discrepant or ‘false’ perceptions
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
José Luis Bermúdez (2009). Mindreading in the Animal Kingdom. In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press.
Josep Call & Michael Tomasello (2008). Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind? 30 Years Later. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (5):187-192.
Peter Carruthers (1996). Language, Thought, and Consciousness. Cambridge University Press.
Gergely Csibra, György Gergely, Szilvia Bı́ró, Orsolya Koós & Margaret Brockbank (1999). Goal Attribution Without Agency Cues: The Perception of 'Pure Reason' in Infancy. Cognition 72 (3):237-267.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Roche (2013). Povinelli's Problem and Introspection. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):559-576.
Elske Vaart & Charlotte K. Hemelrijk (2012). 'Theory of Mind' in Animals: Ways to Make Progress. Synthese (3):1-20.
Elske van der Vaart & Charlotte K. Hemelrijk (2012). 'Theory of Mind' in Animals: Ways to Make Progress. Synthese 191 (3):1-20.
Similar books and articles
Josef Perner & Martin Doherty (2005). Do Infants Understand That External Goals Are Internally Represented? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):710-711.
Kristin Andrews (2005). Chimpanzee Theory of Mind: Looking in All the Wrong Places? Mind and Language 20 (5):521-536.
David Kirsh (2009). Problem Solving and Situated Cognition. In Philip Robbins & M. Aydede (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge. 264--306.
David Kirsh (2009). Problem Solving and Situated Cognition. The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition:264-306.
Cameron Buckner (2013). In Search of Balance: A Review of Povinelli's World Without Weight. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):145-152.
C. M. Heyes (1998). Theory of Mind in Nonhuman Primates. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):101-114.
Vincenzo Tagliasco, Towards an Artificial User: The “What” Problem for an Architecture Capable of Developing New Goals.
Colin Gray & Phil Russell (1998). Theory of Mind in Nonhuman Primates: A Question of Language? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):121-121.
I. Kiraly, B. Jovanovic, W. Prinz, G. Aschersleben & G. Gergely (2003). The Early Origins of Goal Attribution in Infancy. Consciousness and Cognition 12 (4):752-769.
Robert W. Lurz (2011). Belief Attribution in Animals: On How to Move Forward Conceptually and Empirically. [REVIEW] Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (1):19-59.
Daniel D. Hutto, Mitchell Herschbach & Victoria Southgate (2011). Editorial: Social Cognition: Mindreading and Alternatives. [REVIEW] Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):375-395.
Daniel J. Povinelli & Jochen Barth (2005). Reinterpreting Behavior: A Human Specialization? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):712-713.
Howard Brody & Franklin G. Miller (1998). The Internal Morality of Medicine: Explication and Application to Managed Care. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 23 (4):384 – 410.
Arthur Schram (2005). Artificiality: The Tension Between Internal and External Validity in Economic Experiments. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (2):225-237.
Added to index2011-08-10
Total downloads70 ( #22,508 of 1,101,940 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #28,723 of 1,101,940 )
How can I increase my downloads?