Thursday, March 12, 2009

Santino the Outlaw & Mental Time Travel

With a lot of essays coming up I have almost no time to blog. But here are some interesting links:

First, there's an interesting story about Santino, a chimpanzee in a Swedish zoo,who stored stones on strategic locations with "malice aforethought" so to speak, in order to throw them at visitors (see, e.g. here and here).
This ties in with a discussion of in how far non-human animals are able to plan ahead, or inhowfar the posses the ability of "Mental Time Travel."
I have briefly mentioned the importance of such an ability for the evolution of language and perspectival mental representations before (here) and Edmund Blair Bolles has a much more comprehensive post on the importance of episodic thinking and communication of episodes for the evolution of language discussing a recent article by Michael C. Corballis on "Mental Time Travel and the Shaping of Language"

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