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Chimpanzees may recognize motives and goals, but may not reckon on them

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Call,  Josep
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Jensen,  Keith
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Call, J., & Jensen, K. (2007). Chimpanzees may recognize motives and goals, but may not reckon on them. In Empathy and Fairness: Novartis Foundation Symposium 278 (pp. 56-70). New York, NY: Wiley. doi:10.1002/9780470030585.ch5.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-FE1B-1
Abstract
Psychological states play a fundamental role in mediating human social interactions. We interpret identical actions and outcomes in radically different ways depending on the motives and intentions underlying them. Moreover, we take reckoning of ourselves stacked up against others, and ideally make moral decisions with others in mind. Recently, evidence has been accumulating suggesting that our closest relatives are also sensitive to the motives of others and can distinguish intentional from accidental actions. These results suggest that chimpanzees interpret the actions of others from a psychological perspective, not just a behavioural perspective. However, based on recent studies, it is not clear whether chimpanzees have any regard for others, calling into the question the point at which fairness and other-regard were used as building blocks for full-fledged human morality.