Biology and Philosophy 17 (5):695-702 (2002)

Authors
Colin Allen
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
Seven chimpanzees in twenty-seven experiments run over the course of five years at his University of Louisiana laboratory in New Iberia, Louisiana, are at the heart of Daniel Povinelli’s case that chimpanzee thinking about the physical world is not at all like that of humans. Chimps, according to Povinelli and his coauthors James Reaux, Laura Theall, and Steve Giambrone, are phenomenally quick at learning to associate visible features of tools with specific uses of those tools, but they appear to lack cognitive access to forces and other invisible causal features of those tools. Povinelli’s chimps appar- ently rely on a trial-and-error strategy to learn whether a particular tool is suitable for a particular task, and and having mastered one task they appear unable to generalize to other tasks on the basis of tool properties that are not directly visible. Thus, for instance, Povinelli’s research subjects did not immediately recognize that a tool that had been demonstrated to be non- rigid would be unsuitable for dragging a piece of food towards them. When presented with a choice between a rigid, T-shaped “rake” that they had used many times previously and a rake with non-rigid arms, Povinelli and Reaux found, over the course of eight trials, that their chimps chose the non-rigid rake as frequently as they chose the rigid one (experiment 9, chapter 7).
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Biology   Evolutionary Biology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1022571032181
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,617
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Is Anyone a Cognitive Ethologist?Colin Allen - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (4):589-607.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rigid Designation and Semantic Structure.Arthur Sullivan - 2007 - Philosophers' Imprint 7:1-22.
On the Lack of Evidence That Non-Human Animals Possess Anything Remotely Resembling a 'Theory of Mind'.Derek C. Penn & Daniel J. Povinelli - 2007 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 362 (1480):731-744.
Rigid Designation.Hugh S. Chandler - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (13):363-369.
Rigid General Terms and Essential Predicates.Ilhan Inan - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (2):213 - 228.
We Don't Need a Microscope to Explore the Chimpanzee's Mind.Daniel J. Povinelli & Jennifer Vonk - 2006 - In Susan L. Hurley & Matthew Nudds (eds.), Rational Animals? Oxford University Press. pp. 1-28.
Two Types of Rigid Designation.Iris Einheuser - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (3):367–374.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
354 ( #20,017 of 2,348,910 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #330,968 of 2,348,910 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes