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Critically Assess the Claims That Animals, Particularly Chimpanzees, Have a Humanlike Understanding of Mental States - Essay Example

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Critically Assess the Claims That Animals, Particularly Chimpanzees, Have a Humanlike Understanding of Mental States

This paper stresses that there are many debates between scientists over theory of mind and do animals have one? Those who are primatologists and other observors of animal behaviour term theory of mind ‘Machiavellian intelligence’, ‘metarepresentation’, ‘metcognition’, ‘mind reading’ and ‘pan’ or ‘pongo-morphism’. Now a researcher who would use the term ‘mental state attribution’ is likely to believe law-like generalisations underlie mental state ascription.
This report makes a conclusion that the report states, ‘theory of attention in which organisms are subjectively connected to the world not through any particular sensory modality such as vision but rather through other (as-of-yet unspecified) behavioural indicators’. As observed, behaviour is not always valid indictor of having a theory of mind. Hence it will not be obvious to the untrained individual if or not chimps have a human like understanding of mental states. In research like povinelli’s ‘reasoning about beliefs, a human specialisation?’ a very striking point is brought up that ‘theory of mind is unique to our species, and that its original function was to provide a more abstract level of describing ancient behavioural patterns (such as deception, reconciliation, and gaze following)-behaviours that humans share in common with many other species.’ This material sheds knew light on what we thought we knew bout the human mind’s ‘theory of mind’. ...Show more
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Summary

This report critically observes the claims that animals, particularly chimpanzees have a humanlike understanding of mental states. To support its findings, it draws material from a variety of research. The conclusion is arrived at after extensively studying the material in the relevant researches. …
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