Re: reading a book

From: Dace (
Date: Wed 04 May 2005 - 21:50:47 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Mutant swarms and copying fidelity"


    > Dace wrote:
    > >
    > > It's difficult to define exactly where ordinary animal mentality leaves
    > > and human mentality begins. As numerous researchers have demonstrated,
    > > chimps are aware of mentality. They reveal this awareness via the fact
    > > they speculate as to what's on the minds of other chimps and then try to
    > > manipulate what these other chimps are thinking. Only the great apes
    > > to have this capacity. See *Machiavellian Intelligence: Social
    > > and the Evolution of Intellect in Monkeys, Apes and Humans* edited by
    > > Byrne and Andrew Whiten, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988.
    > >
    > The evidence from primate deception is open to interpretation. Whiten
    > has also pointed out (in his 1993 contribution to "Understanding Other
    > Minds", ed. Baron-Cohen et al.) that deception could be practised
    > without any real understanding of others' beliefs or intentions - so
    > long as the deceiver can think about and control what is perceptually
    > available to the deceived.

    So the deceived has a point of view. He has sense organs that convey information to him. If the information is manipulated properly, he will think something that's not true. Thus the deceiver is aware that the deceived has thoughts.

    Why is it that we don't see ape-like deception among other animals? Are apes simply that much more clever, or have they developed a genuinely novel trait that sets them apart?


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