What is Cognitive Science

Do Baboons have a Language of Thought

Dr. Elisabeth Camp

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

University of Pennsylvania, Department of Philosophy

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Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth have recently argued that baboons think in a propositional, discrete-valued, rule-governed, open-ended, and hierarchically structured representational medium; they conclude that baboons think in a Language of Thought, and that the primary reason they don't speak is that they lack a Theory of Mind.  I argue that a representational medium which possesses these five properties could still fall significantly short of a language in its expressive power, and explore the implications for our understanding of the distinctive expressive advantages of language.

Dr. Elisabeth Camp


"What is Cognitive Science?"

This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.

The talks in this lunchtime lecture series are every Thursday during the Fall semester from ** 12:00-1:00 ** in the Psychology Building, Room 101 on  Busch Campus.

Note: Talks are also announced by email (with reminders sent the day of the talk) to people who have requested to be placed on our announce list. If you would like to be added to our announce list, please email the Business Office (business_manager@ruccs.rutgers.edu).