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Putting flexible animal prospection into context: escaping the theoretical box

Osvath, Mathias LU (2016) In Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science 7(1). p.5-18
Abstract
The debate on non‐human future‐oriented cognition has long revolved around the question whether such cognition at all occurs. Closer inspection reveals just how much cognition in general—down to its simplest forms—is geared toward predicting the future in a bid to maintain homeostasis and fend off entropy. Over the course of life's existence on Earth, evolution and natural selection have, through a series of evolutionary arms races, gotten increasingly good at achieving this. Prospection has reached its current pinnacle based partly on a system for episodic cognition that—as research increasingly is showing—is not limited principally to human beings. Nevertheless, and despite some notable recent defections, many researchers remain... (More)
The debate on non‐human future‐oriented cognition has long revolved around the question whether such cognition at all occurs. Closer inspection reveals just how much cognition in general—down to its simplest forms—is geared toward predicting the future in a bid to maintain homeostasis and fend off entropy. Over the course of life's existence on Earth, evolution and natural selection have, through a series of evolutionary arms races, gotten increasingly good at achieving this. Prospection has reached its current pinnacle based partly on a system for episodic cognition that—as research increasingly is showing—is not limited principally to human beings. Nevertheless, and despite some notable recent defections, many researchers remain convinced of the merits of the Bischof–Köhler Hypothesis with its claim that no species other than human beings is able to anticipate future needs or otherwise live in anything other than the immediate present moment. What might, at first, appear to be empirical disputes turn out to reveal largely unquestioned theoretical divides. Without due care, one risks setting out conditions for ‘true’ future orientation that are irrelevant for describing human cognition. In sorting out the theoretical and terminological muddle framing contemporary debate, this article makes a plea for moving beyond past dogmas while putting animal prospection research into the context of evolution and contemporary cognitive science. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science
volume
7
issue
1
pages
5 - 18
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • pmid:26537868
  • wos:000368077700001
  • scopus:84953634828
ISSN
1939-5086
DOI
10.1002/WCS.1372
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8da99751-5cce-4a85-ba09-9be6f6361ac9 (old id 8188912)
date added to LUP
2015-11-17 13:59:25
date last changed
2017-09-03 03:16:40
@misc{8da99751-5cce-4a85-ba09-9be6f6361ac9,
  abstract     = {The debate on non‐human future‐oriented cognition has long revolved around the question whether such cognition at all occurs. Closer inspection reveals just how much cognition in general—down to its simplest forms—is geared toward predicting the future in a bid to maintain homeostasis and fend off entropy. Over the course of life's existence on Earth, evolution and natural selection have, through a series of evolutionary arms races, gotten increasingly good at achieving this. Prospection has reached its current pinnacle based partly on a system for episodic cognition that—as research increasingly is showing—is not limited principally to human beings. Nevertheless, and despite some notable recent defections, many researchers remain convinced of the merits of the Bischof–Köhler Hypothesis with its claim that no species other than human beings is able to anticipate future needs or otherwise live in anything other than the immediate present moment. What might, at first, appear to be empirical disputes turn out to reveal largely unquestioned theoretical divides. Without due care, one risks setting out conditions for ‘true’ future orientation that are irrelevant for describing human cognition. In sorting out the theoretical and terminological muddle framing contemporary debate, this article makes a plea for moving beyond past dogmas while putting animal prospection research into the context of evolution and contemporary cognitive science.},
  author       = {Osvath, Mathias},
  issn         = {1939-5086},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {5--18},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science},
  title        = {Putting flexible animal prospection into context: escaping the theoretical box},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/WCS.1372},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2016},
}