The phenomenon of joint attention is, on the interpretation of Tomasello’s evolutionary-anthropological school, one of the main keys to the understanding of the distinction between man and other animals. This conception has had a strong influence on some contemporary philosophical attempts to capture the difference between man and animal. The article draws attention to radically different empirical theory that is arising from the latest discoveries in the field of comparative psychology and the ethology of primates which show that all the aspects of joint attention can be found in our closest animal relations. From the considerations presented it follows that if philosophy wishes to meaningfully contribute to actual interdisciplinary debate about the nature of the relation between man and animal, it should conduct itself in an informed way and with, at least, a basic grounding in the latest state of empirical research.
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