October/November Update

October seems to have flown by – and here’s what we did as part of the project:

Regular meetings

We started our meetings in October with a session on causality. Amanda Seed provided us with an overview of current research in children, non-human primates, and birds. We will continue to discuss this topic in another session in November.

The other topic that captured our interest during this month was the distinction between explicit and implicit. This distinction has a long history in psychological research, mainly on topics like memory, perception, and social processes, but has recently featured prominently in Theory of Mind Research. Together we looked at different research areas that feature the implicit-explicit distinction, and discussed one of the first empirical papers that used non-verbal/implicit measures on a False Belief Task (Clements and Perner, 1994 – available here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0885201494900124)


Empirical Work at Living Links, Edinburgh

All our paperwork has been cleared, and we are very happy to announce the start of our first empirical project at the Living Links Research Centre. Our task now is to acquaint ourselves with the two groups of monkeys – with nearly 40 monkeys overall this is no easy task.

If you’d like to find out more about Living Links and the on-going research at the centre, check out their blog here: http://www.living-links.org


Visit from Aidan McGlynn

Aidan McGlynn from Philosophy Department at the University of Edinburgh has kindly agreed to visit us in December. Aidan will talk to us about Knowledge First epistemology, and how this notion is or is not relevant for thinking about the minds of nonverbal creatures.


Café Scientifique in Edinburgh Zoo

Why are there no chimpanzee space stations? – if that question has been lingering on your mind recently, you can join us for a Café Scientifique session at Edinburgh Zoo. Amanda Seed will provide a tentative answer to this question, as well as further explore the question of what makes us human primates unique.



September Update

A new academic year – and a busy start for us. Here’s what’s happening with the project this month:

Regular meetings

With the start of the academic year, we will resume our weekly meetings.

This month, Amanda Seed will kick us off with a presentation and discussion on the topic of “insight” in animal cognition. At the end of the month, we are very pleased to welcome Alex Grzankowski (Cambridge, New Directions in the Study of Mind) in St Andrews. Alex will give a seminar on “A Relational Theory of Non-propositional Attitudes” at the Philosophy Club on the 30th of September, and join us for a presentation/discussion on the 1st of October.

Find out more about the event here: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/philosophy/events/?eventid=663



After attending (and thoroughly enjoying) the ESPP15 – the annual meeting of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology – in Tartu this year, we are chuffed to announce that the next meeting will take place in St Andrews. We have entered the first stages of planning, and have just confirmed our venue, the Byre Theatre.

If you want to catch up on the keynote talks of the ESPP15 conference (topics include: language development, the origins of mind reading, psychological essentialism, counterfactual emotions, etc.) – all keynote and invited talks are available here: http://espp2015.ut.ee/?page_id=9


 Empirical work at Living Links, Edinburgh

These days we are very busy to get ready to start work with the monkeys at the Living Links Research Centre, Edinburgh Zoo. Our initial study will look at how Capuchin monkeys understand objects – an important question that will help us to design further studies into topics such as knowledge of the world and others. We are currently applying for ethical approval of the study, and are building the apparatus.


We are looking forward to the next stages of the project – and will keep you updated!


And so it begins…

Welcome to the new website of the Project “Rethinking Mind and Meaning”!

We are very excited to get started on talks, discussions, and empirical work!

You can find out a bit more about us on the Project and Team pages.

You can find (and follow) us on twitter: @mindrethink

Email us on: mindrethink@st-andrews.ac.uk

Or join us on our first event:

Juan-Carlos Gomez will be giving a talk on (non-verbal) Theory of Mind in humans and non-humans. Monday, 16/03/15, 2pm, Room G03 in the Philosophy Department, Edgecliffe.