Culture Prefigures Cognition in Pan/Homo Bonobos

Citation data:

THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 2171-679X, Vol: 20, Issue: 3, Page: 311-328

Publication Year:
Usage 304
Downloads 304
Social Media 6
Shares, Likes & Comments 4
Tweets 2
Repository URL:
Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, William M. Fields, Par Segerdahl, Duane Rumbaugh
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
article description
This article questions traditional experimental approaches to the study of primate cognition. Because of a widespread assumption that cognition in non-human primates is genetically encoded and “natural,” these approaches neglect how profoundly apes’ cultural rearing experiences affect test results. We describe how three advanced cognitive abilities – imitation, theory of mind and language – emerged in bonobos maturing in a bi-species Pan/Homo culture, and how individual rearing differences led to individual forms of these abilities. These descriptions are taken from a rich ethnographic material, and we argue for the scientific superiority of participant-based ethnographic studies of primate cognition in shared Pan/Homo cultures.

This article has 0 Wikipedia mention.