Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 145-152

First online:

In search of balance: a review of Povinelli’s world without weight

Daniel J. Povinelli: World without weight: perspectives on an alien mind. Oxford University Press, 2012, 353 pp
  • Cameron BucknerAffiliated withUniversity of HoustonRuhr-University Bochum Email author 

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Povinelli and colleagues ask whether chimpanzees can understand the concept of weight, answering with a resounding “no”. They justify their answer by appeal to over thirty previously unpublished experiments. I here evaluate in detail Povinelli’s arguments against his targets, questioning the assumption that such comparative questions will be resolved with an unequivocal “yes” or “no”.


Comparative psychology Primatology Evolution Human uniqueness