An opportunity for comment on a relevant PCT topic

This might be and interesting topic to discuss from a PCT
perspective. Regards, Chuck

    Below is the abstract of a forthcoming BBS target article on:


        by C. M. Heyes

This article has been accepted for publication in Behavioral and Brain
Sciences (BBS), an international, interdisciplinary journal providing
Open Peer Commentary on important and controversial current research in
the biobehavioral and cognitive sciences.

Commentators must be BBS Associates or nominated by a BBS Associate. To
be considered as a commentator for this article, to suggest other
appropriate commentators, or for information about how to become a BBS
Associate, please send EMAIL to:

      or write to:

    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
    Department of Psychology
    University of Southampton
    Highfield, Southampton

If you are not a BBS Associate, please send your CV and the name of a
BBS Associate (there are currently over 10,000 worldwide) who is
familiar with your work. All past BBS authors, referees and commentators
are eligible to become BBS Associates.

To help us put together a balanced list of commentators, please give
some indication of the aspects of the topic on which you would bring
your areas of expertise to bear if you were selected as a commentator.
An electronic draft of the full text is available for inspection
with a WWW browser, anonymous ftp or gopher according to the
instructions that follow after the abstract.


To: Multiple recipients of list PSYC <PSYC@PUCC.BITNET>


            C. M. Heyes

            Department of Psychology
            University College London
            Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT
            United Kingdom

    KEYWORDS: apes; associative learning; concepts; convergence;
    deception; evolution of intelligence; folk psychology;
    imitation; mental state attribution; monkeys; parsimony;
    perspective-taking; primates; role-taking; self-recognition;
    social cognition; social intelligence; theory of mind.

    ABSTRACT: Since the BBS article in which Premack & Woodruff
    (1978) asked "Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?", it
    has been repeatedly claimed that there is observational and
    experimental evidence that apes have mental state concepts,
    such as `want' and `know'. Unlike in research on the
    development of theory of mind in childhood, however, no
    substantial progress has been made through this work with
    nonhuman primates. A survey of empirical studies of imitation,
    self-recognition, social relationships, deception, role-taking
    and perspective-taking suggests that in every case where
    nonhuman primate behavior has been interpreted as a sign of
    theory of mind, it could instead have occurred by chance or as
    a product of nonmentalistic processes such as associative
    learning or inferences based on nonmental categories.
    Arguments to the effect that, in spite of this, the theory of
    mind hypothesis should be accepted because it is more
    parsimonious than alternatives, or because it is supported by
    convergent evidence, are not compelling. Such arguments are
    based on unsupportable assumptions about the role of parsimony
    in science, and either ignore the requirement that convergent
    evidence proceed from independent assumptions, or fail to show
    that it supports the theory of mind hypothesis over
    nonmentalist alternatives. Progress in research on theory of
    mind requires experimental procedures that can distinguish the
    theory of mind hypothesis from nonmentalist alternatives. A
    procedure that may have this potential is proposed. It uses
    conditional discrimination training and transfer tests to
    determine whether chimpanzees have the concept `see'.
    Commentators are invited to identify flaws in the procedure and
    to suggest alternatives.

To help you decide whether you would be an appropriate commentator for
this article, an electronic draft is retrievable from the World Wide
Web or by anonymous ftp or gopher from the US or UK BBS Archive.
Ftp instructions follow below. Please do not prepare a commentary on
this draft. Just let us know, after having inspected it, what relevant
expertise you feel you would bring to bear on what aspect of the

The URLs you can use to get to the BBS Archive:

To retrieve a file by ftp from an Internet site, type either:
   When you are asked for your login, type:
   Enter password as queried (your password is your actual userid:
   yourlogin@yourhost.whatever.whatever - be sure to include the "@")
cd /pub/harnad/BBS
   To show the available files, type:
   Next, retrieve the file you want with (for example):
get bbs.heyes
   When you have the file(s) you want, type: