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Explicitness and predication: A risky linkage

  • Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy (a1)

Dienes & Perner (D&P) link explicit knowledge of facts to predication. But predication is basically a linguistic notion. Their approach therefore makes it difficult to attribute knowledge of facts to non- language-users, such as animals. The explicit/implicit distinction, as D&P formulate it, is accordingly of little use for exploring the cognitive capacities of nonhuman primates – despite the increasing evidence for sophisticated social awareness among apes, implying mental representations of events in which participants are clearly distinguished. A revised formulation, less biased toward syntax as it happens to have evolved in humans, could avoid this drawback.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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