(Tomasello 1998: xiii)
“We haven't made much of a dent,” admits Sergeant Tomasello.
"You have to have a strategy for success and a strategy for failure," Tomasello said.
“Chimps do a lot of incredibly smart things,” Michael Tomasello, who heads up the institute’s department of developmental and comparative psychology, told me.
., Warneken and Tomasello, 2009).
The reader is referred to Elman et al. 1996, Tomasello 2003 and §3 below for an entrée into this way of thinking.
These signals are intentional in the sense that the individual controls their use flexibly toward the goal of influencing others” (Tomasello 2008, 14).
Only by being interested in sharing experiences with other autonomous beings does the child gain access to the world of meaning (Tomasello 1999, Hobson 2002).
Then they received some threats and now they're scared again,” shrugs Staff Sergeant Anthony Tomasello of Bravo company, only a few miles south-east of Kuhak.
Newmeyer (1991), like Tomasello, refers to the Essentialists as ‘formalists’, because of their tendency to employ abstractions, and to use tools from mathematics and logic.
Some suggest the chimpanzees may have been distracted by the presence of food (Warneken & Tomasello 2006), or that they are more likely to help in response to a request for help (Yamamoto 2009).
So, whereas a central tenet of linguistic nativism is its insistence that the structures responsible for language learning are task-specific, Tomasello sees those structures as being much more general-purpose.
That is, both Tomasello and Chomsky could agree that dispositions to construct ‘linguistic niches’ — environments in which languages are easy for human offspring to learn — may have been selected for in our species.
Given the subsequent theoretical and definitional disagreements, some researchers have concluded that “the generic label ‘theory of mind’ actually covers a wide range of processes of social cognition” (Tomasello et al. 2003b, 239).
Another kind of Emergentist, like Tomasello (2003), will stress the role of theory of mind and the capacity to use symbols to change conspecifics’ mental states as uniquely human preadaptations for language acquisition, use, and invention.
In response, the authors claim that they have accounted for all possible alternative explanations for the subordinate’s behavior, making an inference to the best explanation argument that the subordinate understands what the dominant sees (Tomasello et al. 2003a, 2003b; Hare et al. 2006).
Tomasello claims that chimpanzees intentionally communicate only via gestures, because when gesturing but not when vocalizing apes monitor the gaze of communicative partners (Leavens and Hopkins 1998), and repair failed communication attempts by repeating a message or elaborating on it (Liebal et al 2004, Leavens et al 2005).
Ramsey (2016) makes a plausible case that some eminent primatologists and psychologists (including de Waal (2008) and Warneken and Tomasello (2008)) invoke an even less demanding account of altruism, one that requires that the recipient benefit but drops the requirement that altruistic behavior must involve some cost to the agent.
Primatologists like Cheney and Seyfarth, psychologists like Tomasello, anthropologists like Terrence Deacon, and linguists like Phillip Lieberman share an interest in investigating the communicative, anatomical, and cognitive characteristics of non-human animals to identify biological differences between humans, and monkeys and primates.
Although assessing Tomasello's theory of language acquisition is beyond the scope of this entry, this much can be said: the oft-repeated charge that empiricists have failed to provide comprehensive, testable alternatives to Chomskyanism is no longer sustainable, and if the what and how of language acquisition are along the lines that Tomasello describes, then the motivation for linguistic nativism largely disappears.
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Although assessing Tomasello's theory of language acquisition is beyond the scope of this entry this much can be said the oft-repeated charge that empiricists have failed to provide comprehensive testable alternatives to Chomskyanism is no longer sustainable and if the what and how of language acquisition are along the lines that Tomasello describes then the motivation for linguistic nativism largely disappears