[Marxism] Human Origins

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Mon Aug 1 08:19:08 MDT 2005

)Austin, Andrew 

 "Chimps have 'monkey see monkey do' or imitation learning. They don't
learn with symbols."

This statement does not correspond to contemporary fact.  Chimps can
expertly read maps to find hidden objects.  It is not "imitation
learning."  It is symbolic understanding.


CB: On this issue of Chimps reading and following maps, this is actually
more imitative thinking than symbolic.  We discussed this with the late Jim
Blaut here. Andy may have been in that discussion.

A map "imitates" ,in miniature, the area it represents. This is the opposite
of symbolizing. Symbolizing would be for example the word "Michigan" to
represent the land that is Michigan. The letters or sounds  M-i-c-h-i-g-a-n
in no way imitate the land mass they represent. This symbolization. An
arbitrary representation of something by something that it is not.

At any rate, chimps reading and following maps is exactly an imitative or
"monkey-see/monkey-do"  skill.

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