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The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition By Michael Tomasello

The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
by Michael Tomasello

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Bridging evolutionary theory and cultural psychology, Tomasello argues that the roots of the human capacity for symbol-based culture are based in a cluster of uniquely human cognitive capacities. These include capacities for understanding that others have intentions of their own, and for imitating what someone else has intended to do.
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The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition Summary


The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition by Michael Tomasello

Ambitious and elegant, this book builds a bridge between evolutionary theory and cultural psychology. Michael Tomasello is one of the very few people to have done systematic research on the cognitive capacities of both nonhuman primates and human children. The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition 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 place within it, are based in a cluster of uniquely human cognitive capacities that emerge early in human ontogeny. These include capacities for 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 his discussions of language, symbolic representation, and cognitive development, Tomasello describes with authority and ingenuity the "ratchet effect" of these 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 processes of social cognition and cultural evolution, about what makes the cognitive representations of humans different from those of other primates. Lucid, erudite, and passionate, The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition will be essential reading for developmental psychology, animal behavior, and cultural psychology.

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The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition Reviews


Students of primate behavior are one of several groups who should read this important book. It spells out forcefully what appears to make human development so distinctive, and does so from the perspective of an expert in language acquisition who has also devoted much time to comparative work with apes. It is strong medicine for anybody in danger of romanticizing the similarity of ape to child. Developmental psychologists will find here a well-articulated account of the ontogeny of cultural learning, which challenges alternative accounts from the vantage point of extensive research. -- Andrew Whiten Nature "In The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition...[Tomasello] argues that what makes human beings unique is that they are so good at learning from one another and that they create new, original things with what they learn." -- Helen Epstein Lingua Franca

About Michael Tomasello


Michael Tomasello is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. From 1998 to 2018 he was Co-Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and in 2017 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His scientific work has been recognized by institutions around the world, including the Guggenheim Foundation, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Netherlands, and the German National Academy of Sciences.

Table of Contents


1. A Puzzle and a Hypothesis 2. Biological and Cultural Inheritance 3. Joint Attention and Cultural Learning 4. Linguistic Communication and Symbolic Representation 5. Linguistic Constructions and Event Cognition 6. Discourse and Representational Redescription 7. Cultural Cognition References Index

Additional information

GOR003293088
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition by Michael Tomasello
Michael Tomasello
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Harvard University Press
2001-05-01
256
0674005821
9780674005822
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.