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Mini-Symposium on February 4, 2011

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How Like Us Are They? Human and Nonhuman Primate Cognition

  • Conference
When Feb 04, 2011
from 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Where Rolfe Hall 1200
Contact Name
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Nonhuman primates are our closest relatives. In what ways are their minds similar to ours? In what ways are they different? What do our best theories of evolutionary biology, cognitive ethology, and behavioral psychology tell us about the minds of these primates? What aspects of the minds of animals are accessible to scientific study and what are the limitations? Are the current cognitive abilities attributed to primates the best explanations of their behaviors, or are scientists making unwarranted inferences based on outmoded folk psychological concepts? Do animals understand the intentions of conspecifics? Do they show what one may consider altruistic and emphatic behavior? Can they plan for the future? Do they understand sophisticated aspects of their own and others' existence like mortality? This symposium examines these questions.



8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.         

Registration/Coffee & Muffins


8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.         

Clive Wynne, Welcome and Introductions

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.         

Dale Jamieson, "Our Knowledge of Animal Minds"

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.       

Dan Dennett, "Applying the Intentional Stance to non-humans. Can it take the strain?"

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.     

Marc Bekoff, "The Emotional Lives of Animals: What We Know and How We Know It"


10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.    

Coffee Break


10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.     

Joint Paper: "How comparative psychologists have deluded themselves and the public about the nature of animal minds"

Daniel Povinelli, Part One: "On the Continuing Exaggeration of the Similarity Between Human and Animal Minds"
Derek Penn, Part Two: "Why is the Human Mind So Weird?"


11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.    

Sally Boysen, "Piltdown pan: Will the real chimpanzee please stand up?"


12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.      



2:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.         

Moderated panel discussion


4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.         

Closing Remarks



The registration fee is $35.   $20 with a current student ID.

Tickets will be available for purchase beginning January 19 through the Campus Ticket Office (CTO) by phone (310-825-2101) or at the CTO window (James West Alumni Center, next to parking lot 6 and Pauley Pavilion).



Rolfe Hall 1200 

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