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Social Cognition: Exchanging and Sharing Information on the Run

Authors
  • Bekoff, Marc1
  • 1 University of Colorado, Department of Environmental, Population, and Orgasmic Biology, Boulder, CO, 80309-0334, U.S.A , Boulder
Type
Published Article
Journal
Erkenntnis
Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1999
Volume
51
Issue
1
Pages
617–632
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1023/A:1005549509742
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

In this essay I consider various aspects of the rapidly growing field of cognitive ethology, concentrating mainly on evolutionary and comparative discussion of the notion of intentionality. I am not concerned with consciousness, per se, for a concentration on consciousness deflects attention from other, and in many cases more interesting, problems in the study of animal cognition. I consider how, when, where, and (attempt to discuss) why individuals from different taxa exchange social information concerning their beliefs, desires, and goals. My main examples come from studies of social play in mammals and antipredator behavior in birds. Basically, I argue that although not all individuals always display behavior patterns that are best explained by appeals to intentionality, it is misleading to argue that such explanations have no place in the study of animal cognition.

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