Behavioral and Brain Sciences



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

Why not ask “Does the chimpanzee have a soul?”


William M. Baum a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3567 wm.baum@unh.edu

Abstract

The question, “Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?” is logically identical to the question, “Does the chimpanzee have a soul?” It is a peculiarity of our culture that we talk about anyone having a mind, and such talk is unhelpful for a science of behavior. The label “killjoy hypothesis” is an ad hominem attack.



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