Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Heyes, C. M.: Theory of mind in nonhuman primates

The prior question: Do human primates have a theory of mind?

Robert M. Gordon a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63121


Given Heyes's construal of “theory of mind,” there is still no convincing evidence of theory of mind in human primates, much less nonhuman. Rather than making unfounded assumptions about what underlies human social competence, one should ask what mechanisms other primates have and then inquire whether more sophisticated elaborations of those might not account for much of human competence.