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The Evolution of means-End Cognition; Why Animals Cannot Think

Papineau, David (2001) The Evolution of means-End Cognition; Why Animals Cannot Think. [Preprint]

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Why is there a cognitive gulf between other animals and humans? Current fashion favours our greater understanding of Theory of Mind as an answer, and Language is another obvious candidate. But I think that analysis of the evolution of means-end cognitive mechanisms suggests that there may be a further significant difference: where animals will only perform those means which they (or their ancestors) have previously used as a route to some end, humans can employ observation to learn that some novel means is a route to a desired end. In short, human can learn from observation, where animals can learn only from first-hand experience.

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Item Type: Preprint
Papineau, David
Keywords: Evolution, cogniton, mean-end; animals
Depositing User: Peter Machamer
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2001
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:10
Item ID: 397
Public Domain: No
Date: 2001

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