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The model developed in this article aims to shed light on interspecies relationships, articulating the views of the interactionist sociology, on the one hand, and ethology – and more broadly the behavioral sciences – on the other. This model focuses on social interaction and its effects. It is based on the idea that the ultimate condition for the existence of social and cultural facts is not a shared identity – of representations, behaviors, ability to read the intentions of others, to imitate, to manipulate symbols, or of mutual understanding or common sense. It is a condition much less restrictive: the possibility of practical adjustments between two beings in the course of their interactions – condition that can be effective between two very different beings. This model highlights many phenomena produced by interactions – especially interspecific interactions – which necessarily can’t be taken into account in models based on different versions of the principle of identity, particularly those that restrict social learning to a mechanism of copy – imitation. To illustrate this model, we will rely on the study of the interactions that humans have with two species: dogs and barbary macaques.


  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Cognitivism
  • Dog
  • Ethology
  • Interaction
  • Interspecific Culture
  • Macaque
  • Social Learning
Nicolas Claidière
Dominique Guillo
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