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
Ezio Di Nucci
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
Amanda Seed & Michael Tomasello (2010). Primate Cognition. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):407-419.
Michael Tomasello, Malinda Carpenter, Josep Call, Tanya Behne & Henrike Moll (2005). Understanding and Sharing Intentions: The Origins of Cultural Cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):675-691.
Derek C. Penn, Keith J. Holyoak & Daniel J. Povinelli (2008). Darwin's Mistake: Explaining the Discontinuity Between Human and Nonhuman Minds. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (2):109-130.
Citations of this work BETA
Marco Fenici (2013). Social Cognitive Abilities in Infancy: Is Mindreading the Best Explanation? Philosophical Psychology 28 (3):387-411.
Michael Roche (2013). Povinelli's Problem and Introspection. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):559-576.
Elske van der Vaart & Charlotte K. Hemelrijk (2012). 'Theory of Mind' in Animals: Ways to Make Progress. Synthese 191 (3):1-20.
Marta Halina (2015). There Is No Special Problem of Mindreading in Nonhuman Animals. Philosophy of Science 82 (3):473-490.
Robert W. Lurz, Sharisse Kanet & Carla Krachun (2014). Animal Mindreading: A Defense of Optimistic Agnosticism. Mind and Language 29 (4):428-454.
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 downloads76 ( #52,332 of 1,789,836 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #315,593 of 1,789,836 )
How can I increase my downloads?