Tool Use and Causal Cognition

Hardcover | September 18, 2011

EditorTeresa McCormack, Christoph Hoerl, Stephen Butterfill

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What cognitive abilities underpin the use of tools, and how are tools and their properties represented or understood by tool-users? Does the study of tool use provide us with a unique or distinctive source of information about the causal cognition of tool-users? Tool use is a topic of major interest to all those interested in animal cognition, because it implies that the animal has knowledge of the relationship between objects and their effects. There are countless examples of animals developing tools to achieve some goal-chimps sharpening sticks to use asspears, bonobos using sticks to fish for termites, and New Caledonian crows developing complex tools to extracts insects from logs. Studies of tool use have been used to examine an exceptionally wide range of aspects of cognition, such as planning, problem-solving and insight, naive physics, socialrelationship between action and perception. A key debate in recent research on animal cognition concerns the level of cognitive sophistication that is implied by animal tool use, and developmental psychologists have been addressing related questions regarding the processes through which children acquire the ability to use tools. Inneuropsychology, patterns of impairments in tool use due to brain damage, and studies of neural changes associated with tool use, have also led to debates about the different types of cognitive abilities that might underpin tool use, and about how tool use may change the way space or the body isrepresented. Tool Use and Causal Cognition provides a new interdisciplinary perspective on these issues with contributions from leading psychologists studying tool use and philosophers providing new analyses of the nature of causal understanding. A ground-breaking volume which covers several disciplines, thisvolume will be of interest to psychologists, including animal researchers and developmental psychologists as well as philosophers, and neuroscientists.

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What cognitive abilities underpin the use of tools, and how are tools and their properties represented or understood by tool-users? Does the study of tool use provide us with a unique or distinctive source of information about the causal cognition of tool-users? Tool use is a topic of major interest to all those interested in animal co...

Teresa McCormack is a Professor of Developmental Psychology at the School of Psychology, Queen's University Belfast. She was co-director of the AHRC-funded project on Causal Understanding based at the University of Warwick. Her research primarily addresses issues concerning children's temporal and causal cognition. She has published tw...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.41 inPublished:September 18, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199571155

ISBN - 13:9780199571154

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Table of Contents

1. Teresa McCormack, Christoph Hoerl, and Stephen Butterfill: Tool Use and Causal Cognition: An Introduction2. Jim Woodward: A Philosopher Looks at Tool Use and Causal Understanding3. Melissa L. Greif and Amy Needham: The Development of Tool Use Early in Life4. Daniel Povinelli and Derek C. Penn: Through a Floppy Tool Darkly: Toward a Conceptual Overthrow of Animal Alchemy5. Amanda Seed, Daniel Hanus, and Josep Call: Causal Knowledge in Corvids, Primates and Children: More Than Meets the Eye?6. Brian J. Edwards, Benjamin M. Rottman, and Laurie R. Santos: The Evolutionary Origins of Causal Cognition: Learning and Using Causal Structures7. Teresa McCormack and Christoph Hoerl: Tool Use, Planning, and Future Thinking in Children and Animals8. Christopher Peacocke: Representing Causality9. John Campbell: Why Do Language and Tool Use Both Count as Manifestations of Intelligence?10. Georg Goldenberg: Effects of brain damage on human tool use11. Lucilla Cardinali, Claudio Brozzoli, Francesca Frassinetti, Alice C. Roy, Alessandro Farne: Human tool-use: a causal role in plasticity of bodily and spatial representations12. Charles Spence: Tool-use and the representation of peripersonal space in humans