Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Tool Use and Causal Cognition$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2021

Causal Knowledge in Corvids, Primates, and Children

Causal Knowledge in Corvids, Primates, and Children

More Than Meets the Eye?

(p.89) 5 Causal Knowledge in Corvids, Primates, and Children
Tool Use and Causal Cognition

Amanda Seed

Daniel Hanus

Josep Call

Oxford University Press

Previous experimental work has led several authors to conclude that only humans reinterpret ‘first-order perceptual relations in terms of higher order role-governed relational structures,’ meaning that among other things, non-human animals are not capable of physical reasoning based on abstract, unobservable object properties. Instead they must rely on first-order perceptual information to solve problems. Such an account could approximate behaviour driven by physical knowledge very well if natural selection has pre-prepared the learning animal to attend to perceptual features of the stimulus that are most likely to correlate with its functional properties in the natural environment. This chapter aims to challenge the ‘relational reinterpretation hypothesis’ put forward by Penn et al. (2008) by describing data from several other paradigms aimed at distinguishing between explanations based on surface-level perceptual characteristics and those in which object properties (such as solidity, continuity, weight, and rigidity) are represented at a deeper level of abstraction, where ‘abstract’ means that the information is not equivalent or reducible to concrete, analogue sensory input, but rather has undergone further processing in which meaning is extracted.

Keywords:   first-order perceptual relations, physical reasoning, abstract, object properties, relational reinterpretation hypothesis, perceptual information

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .