Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Joelle Proust Das intentionale Tier in D. Perler/M. Wild (Hg) Der Geist der Tiere Frankfurt/M. 2005

Perler I 239
Animal/mind/consciousness/Proust: what about the ability of animals to form hypotheses that might point to a "theory of the mind"? This is only true for primates and large marine mammals, not for dogs and cats who have acquired their relatively comprehensive communication repertoire only through domestication and interaction with us.
E.g. shared attention: shared attention apparently implies a recognition of the fact that another has discovered an interesting object with its perception.
From this, however, the animal does not conceive the idea that its conspecific or the other has seen an object or knows a state of affairs.
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I 240
Primates do not perform spontaneous pointing gestures! They can only be teached if they are promised food.
Culture/Animal/Proust: E.g. washing potatoes: here nothing points to a pedagogic concern. The slowness of appropriation suggests that the innovation is not acquired by either targeted education nor imitation, it is about "stimulus intensification": the simple spatial proximity of a group member to the target object arouses the interest of the conspecific for this type of object and leads to the testing of different possibilities of use.
Group behavior: also appeasement, etc. can be explained by simple social cooperation without mental representations. The animals do not need to know why they are doing the gestures.
Tactical deception maneuvers are often found in primates.
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I 242
Instead of assuming that animals "lie", it is now acknowledged that these behaviors can be explained by the learning of effective actions in a particular situation.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Tie I
D. Perler/M. Wild (Hg)
Der Geist der Tiere Frankfurt 2005




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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-07-27