Anthropomorphism, Parsimony, and Common Ancestry

Mind and Language 27 (3):229-238 (2012)
Abstract
I consider three theses that are friendly to anthropomorphism. Each makes a claim about what can be inferred about the mental life of chimpanzees from the fact that humans and chimpanzees both have behavioral trait B and humans produce this behavior by having mental trait M. The first thesis asserts that this fact makes it probable that chimpanzees have M. The second says that this fact provides strong evidence that chimpanzees have M. The third claims that the fact is evidence that chimpanzees have M. The third thesis follows from a plausible Reichenbachian model of how a common ancestor is probabilistically related to its descendants. The first two theses do not, and they have no general evolutionary justification
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Michael Roche (2013). Povinelli's Problem and Introspection. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):559-576.
Similar books and articles
Elliott Sober & Steven Hecht Orzack (2003). Common Ancestry and Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (3):423-437.
Sarah Stebbins (1993). Anthropomorphism. Philosophical Studies 69 (2-3):113-122.
David R. Hilbert (1993). Comments on Anthropomorphism. Philosophical Studies 69 (2-3):123-127.
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