Are Apes’ Responses to Pointing Gestures Intentional?

Humana Mente 6 (24):53-77 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper examines the meaningfulness of pointing in great apes. We appeal to Hannah Ginsborg’s conception of primitive normativity, which provides an adequate criterion for establishing whether a response is meaningful, and we attempt to make room for a conception according to which there is no fundamental difference between the responses of human infants and those of other great apes to pointing gestures. This conception is an alternative to Tomasello’s view that pointing gestures and reactions to them reveal a fundamental difference between humans and other apes.

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