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Tool Use and Causal Cognition$
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Teresa McCormack, Christoph Hoerl, and Stephen Butterfill

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199571154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571154.001.0001

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Through a Floppy Tool Darkly

Through a Floppy Tool Darkly

Toward a Conceptual Overthrow of Animal Alchemy

Chapter:
(p.69) 4 Through a Floppy Tool Darkly
Source:
Tool Use and Causal Cognition
Author(s):

Daniel J. Povinelli

Derek C. Penn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571154.003.0004

This chapter attempts to show that claims that chimpanzees (and other animals) reason about the world in human-like ways are unfounded. In particular, it argues that only humans rely upon ‘higher order’ causal relations such as force, weight, or gravity, and logical inferential processes such as diagnostic causal reasoning when making sense out of the world. It begins by analysing one of the most basic problems in this field: an ape wielding a stick to obtain an out-of-reach banana.

Keywords:   chimpanzees, causal relations, logical inference, causal reasoning, apes

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