The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
By (author) Michael Tomasello
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Cultural Origins of Human Cognition by Michael Tomasello
Book DescriptionThis work builds a bridge between evolutionary theory and cultural psychology. The author is one of very few people to have done systematic research on the cognitive capacities of both nonhuman primates and human children. This work identifies what the differences are, and suggests where they might have come from. Tomasello argues that the roots of the human capacity for symbol-based culture, and the kind of psychological development that takes p[lace within it, are based in a cluster of unique human cognitive capacities that emerge early in human ontogeny. These include capacities fort sharing attention with other persons, for understanding that others have intentions of their own; and for imitating, not just what someone else does, but what someone else has intended to do. In this discussions of language, symbolic representation, and cognitive-development, the author describes with authority and ingenuity the "ratchet effect" of the capacities working over evolutionary and historical time to create the kind of cultural artifacts and settings within which each new generation of children develops. He also proposes a novel hypothesis, based on process of social cognition and cultural evolution, about what makes the cognitive representations of humans different from those of other primates.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674005822
(210mm x 140mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-May-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Michael Tomasello
Natural History of Human Morality, Hardback (January 2016)
Michael Tomasello offers the most detailed account to date of the evolution of human moral psychology. Based on experimental data comparing great apes and human children, he reconstructs two key evolutionary steps whereby early humans gradually became an ultra-cooperative and, eventually, a moral species capable of acting as a plural agent we ."
Natural History of Human Thinking, Hardback (February 2014)» View all books by Michael Tomasello
Language or culture, tool-making or religion: ever since Darwin, thinkers have struggled to identify what differentiates human beings from other animals. The author weaves his twenty years of comparative studies of humans and great apes into a compelling argument that cooperative social interaction is the key to our cognitive uniqueness.
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Author Biography - Michael Tomasello
Michael Tomasello is Co-Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. He is the author of First Verbs and the coauthor of Primate Cognition.
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