Controversies Regarding Tool-Oriented Activities Among Animal Species: A Review of Current Terminological Concepts

DOI: 10.14673/HE2015121006
Published in: Human Evolution – Vol.30 – N.1-2 – 2015

Though tool behavior has long been observed in a wide range of animals, how it developed in individual animal species is still not fully understood. Broadly defined, animal and human tool-related activities are said to constitute something that appears to indicate the uniqueness of the human species. The definition of “tool” in relation to tool-making and tool-using activities has been problematic for many scientists, with important theoretical and philosophical implications, especially regarding discussions on the dynamics of tool-oriented activities of man and his ancestors. The exact meaning of “tool use” and “tool-making” should be firmly established before discussing human and animal tool-oriented behavior. This issue is particularly important where disciplines such as anthropology and archaeology, on the one hand, overlap with ethnology or primatology, on the other. In this article, the author attempts to clarify some of the main concepts and definitions regarding tool-oriented behavior in specific animal species and to make his own proposals.

Kupczak, R.
University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland.
Jesuit University Ignatianum,
Krakow, Poland.

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