Article

Similarity and Difference in the Conceptual Systems of PrimatesThe Unobservability Hypothesis

Jennifer Vonk and Daniel J. Povinelli

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Cognition

Second edition

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392661
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195392661.013.0029

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Similarity and Difference in the Conceptual Systems of PrimatesThe Unobservability Hypothesis

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter explores the possibility that one of the important ways in which humans differ from other species is that our minds form and reason about concepts that refer to unobservable entities or processes. In short, it explores the possibility that whereas many species form concepts about observable things and use those concepts in flexible and productive ways, humans alone think about such things as God, ghosts, gravity, and other minds. Further, it speculates that although thinking about unobservables is by no means the only way in which the human mind differs from other species, it may serve as the foundation for many of the fundamental differences between our behavior and that of our closest living relatives.

Keywords: primates; unobservability hypothesis; unobservable entities

Article.  17767 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.