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Old 12-10-2016, 12:51 AM   #21
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Default Re: A species without shared intentionality

Don't chimpanzees give warning cries if they see a predator in the area? Everyone responds to the problem by running away or driving off the predator.

Is that not included in the definition of shared intentionality?
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:55 AM   #22
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Don't chimpanzees give warning cries if they see a predator in the area? Everyone responds to the problem by running away or driving off the predator.

Is that not included in the definition of shared intentionality?
Distress screams are not necessarily the product of a deliberate intend to signal others.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:06 AM   #23
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Distress screams are not necessarily the product of a deliberate intend to signal others.
They're intentional alarm calls, not distress screams.

They also pant-hoot to direct their tribe to fruit trees or travel together.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:27 AM   #24
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Default Re: A species without shared intentionality

Inability to conceive of or care about others doesn't sound like even primitive mammal herd behavior let alone monkey or ape.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:35 AM   #25
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Inability to conceive of or care about others doesn't sound like even primitive mammal herd behavior let alone monkey or ape.
Zebra's do this. They don't care about each other at all, but they hang out in groups since it's individually advantageous.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:38 AM   #26
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Don't chimpanzees give warning cries if they see a predator in the area? Everyone responds to the problem by running away or driving off the predator.

Is that not included in the definition of shared intentionality?
I think the definition being used is more of being creative with what you've seen others do. You are used to others attacking, fleeing or mating cooperatively with you.

I keep on coming up with examples and they keep on boiling down to communication and asking someone to do something they haven't done before or that their isn't a hardwired chimp screech for. Of course chimps don't have our language, but the point is that even when given it and put under good motivation to ask others to do things, they can't. They can't ask the smallest chimp to go and get that mango from the branch only it can reach. They won't hold open a door for another so it can get to the food.

Part of me wonders if dogs have broken this barrier. They at least receive messages. I think they also know to ask humans for things they want, but that's not being creative about what they want the human to do, that's faith in the human to figure something out.
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:05 AM   #27
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I keep on coming up with examples and they keep on boiling down to communication and asking someone to do something they haven't done before or that their isn't a hardwired chimp screech for. Of course chimps don't have our language, but the point is that even when given it and put under good motivation to ask others to do things, they can't. They can't ask the smallest chimp to go and get that mango from the branch only it can reach. They won't hold open a door for another so it can get to the food.
In one of my favourite TED talks, Frans de Waal shows video footage of chimps who have been taught to cooperate in just that way. Whether that means they can do the same in the wild, I don't know. Watch through to the end though, there's a few other interesting examples of cooperation and empathy.

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Part of me wonders if dogs have broken this barrier. They at least receive messages. I think they also know to ask humans for things they want, but that's not being creative about what they want the human to do, that's faith in the human to figure something out.
I think the behaviour of herding dogs fits the definition, doesn't it?

But actually, whether these animals fit the OP's definition is probably beside the point. The question was how to GURPSify the trait for an alien species, whether chimps and dogs can do it or not.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:35 AM   #28
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Individual intentionality in the way I am talking about it here is basically "I have a problem, how do I solve it?" If you add a theory of mind, you can get "You have a problem, how do you solve it?" Shared intentionality takes it one step further and adds "We have a problem, how do we work together to solve it?"

According to Michael Tomasello, chimpanzees don't have shared intentionality. You would never see two chimpanzees work together - like carrying a log to reach a bunch of bananas - they just can't think that way. According to Jonathan Haidt, one of my favorite psychologists, the important rubicon humans crossed on the way of becoming an ultra-social species (able to work together by the millions, without being related*) was inventing shared intentionality.

Tomasello did a series of experiments on toddlers and chimpanzees. One series of tasks were motoric tasks, and chimps and toddlers were about equally good at doing this. Chimps are really smart, so you can give them fairly complex tasks and they will solve them. The second series of tasks were tasks that required social interaction - picking one of two cups with the only clue being that the human is looking at it, or pointing at it. As someone who has had cats and dogs know that that's a large difference between them - if you point, a dog looks where you point, a cat looks at you**.

So how do I build a species without shared intentionality? The "mind-blind" disadvantages are "Clueless", "Low Empathy" and "Oblivious", but this is not quite something like that. Chimps can understand the reason behind another chimp's actions, it's just that they can't cooperate. Any ideas?

* we are the only species that can do that
** this may not be true of all dogs and all cats or even all chimps, so please don't point out the exceptions. An intriguing possibility is that cats are evolving shared intentionality, but there's a reason there are so many "trained dog" movies and so few "trained cat" movies
In theory, anything with long term thinking should be capable of producing a theory of mind. It would be really weird for a species to evolve language, technology, and etc. Without the basic mental capacity for cooperation based on long term goal directed thinking.

All you need do is to project your goals over a long term, that is the main pre-requisite, social interaction takes cares of the rest.

So maybe make a super powerfull species that does not rely on anyone to achieve its most amazing long term goals, you could sort of achieve that.

But the less you need other individuals, the less you will articulate with them, and you will have a poorer language, and since thought follows language, the logic is that you would have a small IQ than would be the case if there was heavy social interaction
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:51 AM   #29
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In theory, anything with long term thinking should be capable of producing a theory of mind. It would be really weird for a species to evolve language, technology, and etc. Without the basic mental capacity for cooperation based on long term goal directed thinking.
That's our theory, but we're a social species that evolved intelligence. That might bias our views.

For example, I've read about experiments in psychology that test people's ability to figure out puzzles in logic. Most people are unexpectedly bad at doing this, ordinarily. But if you frame the puzzle, not as an abstract set of questions, but as a way of detecting whether someone is deceiving you, the same people do significantly better. That is, we seem to have highly developed social intelligence, but our general purpose intelligence isn't as good in most people (autistic spectrum people might be an exception).

So could we have a different pattern, one where toolmaking or navigation was the core ability, and social reasoning was at best a difficult addon? We know a nervous system can work like that, because some people have that pattern. Could it evolve without sociality? Could we have a species that was either fully autistic, or Asperger-like, putting together social alliances through rational calculation?

I'm not sure we know.
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Old 12-10-2016, 04:25 PM   #30
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Default Re: A species without shared intentionality

I guess that sounds like an alarm call to summon the forum autists.

Lying, in somewhat loose definitions, has been witnessed in a lot of rather unintelligent mammals. So hypothetical aliens wouldn't just be un-human-like, but also very un-earth-animal-like if unable to recognize basic social conventions like deception.
Getting used and using others is much of what all social animals with brains do for survival.
One theory has such one-upmanship being the force that caused the rapid hominid brain size increase over the past couple million years. Social manipulation is hard and detecting it is even harder.
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