Thought in a Hostile World: The Evolution of Human Cognition / Edition 1

Thought in a Hostile World: The Evolution of Human Cognition / Edition 1

by Kim Sterelny
     
 

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ISBN-10: 063118886X

ISBN-13: 9780631188865

Pub. Date: 09/22/2003

Publisher: Wiley

Thought in a Hostile World is an exploration of the evolution of cognition, especially human cognition, by one of today's foremost philosophers of biology and of mind. The central idea of the book is that thought is a response to threat. Competitors and enemies make life hard by their direct physical effects. But they also make life hard by eroding epistemic

Overview

Thought in a Hostile World is an exploration of the evolution of cognition, especially human cognition, by one of today's foremost philosophers of biology and of mind. The central idea of the book is that thought is a response to threat. Competitors and enemies make life hard by their direct physical effects. But they also make life hard by eroding epistemic conditions. They lie. They hide themselves. They seem other than what they are. Sterelny uses this and related ideas to explore from an evolutionary perspective the relationship between folk psychology and an integrated scientific conception of human cognition. In the process, he examines how and why human minds have evolved. The book argues that humans are cognitively, socially, and sexually very unlike the other great apes, and that despite our relatively recent separation from their lineages, human social and cognitive evolution has been driven by unusual evolutionary mechanisms. In developing his own picture of the descent of the human mind, Sterelny further offers a critique of nativist, modular versions of evolutionary psychology. This volume will be of vital interest to scholars and students interested in cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and evolutionary psychology.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780631188865
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
09/22/2003
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.08(d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceviii
Part IAssembling Intentionality1
1Evolutionary Naturalism3
1.1Two Projects of Evolutionary Naturalism3
1.2The Simple Coordination Thesis5
2Detection Systems11
2.1The Environmental Complexity Hypothesis11
2.2Detection Systems14
2.3The Power of Detection Systems17
2.4Transparent and Translucent Worlds20
2.5Robust Tracking Systems27
3Fuels for Success30
3.1Decoupled Representation30
3.2Response Breadth33
3.3Fuels for Success: Space40
3.4Fuels for Success: Intervention in the Material World45
3.5Reprise50
4Fuels for Success: The Social Intelligence Hypothesis51
4.1The Cognitive Demands Of Social Life51
4.2The Social Intelligence Hypothesis55
4.3The Cognitive World Of The Great Apes: Imitation58
4.4The Cognitive World of Great Apes: Tracking Other Minds67
5The Descent of Preference78
5.1Internal Environments78
5.2The Forager's Dilemma81
5.3Preference Eliminativism?87
5.4Preference-like States92
Part IINot Just Another Species of Large Mammal97
6Reconstructing Hominid Evolution99
6.1Testing Theories of Human Evolution99
6.2From Cognitive Device to Evolutionary History101
6.3Making Progress105
6.4An Example: Tomasello's Conjecture116
6.5Conclusions121
7The Cooperation Explosion123
7.1The Cooperative Primate123
7.2Group Selection and Human Cooperation125
7.3The Ecological Trigger of Hominid Cooperation128
7.4Coalition and Enforcement131
7.5Commitment to Enforcement138
7.6Upshot142
8The Self-made Species146
8.1Ecological Engineers146
8.2Cumulative Niche Construction: The Cognitive Condition149
8.3Cumulative Niche Construction: The Social Condition152
8.4Hominid Epistemic Engineering154
8.5Downstream Epistemic Engineering157
9Heterogeneous Environments and Variable Response162
9.1Phenotypic Plasticity162
9.2Is Plasticity an Adaptation?166
9.3Reprise171
Part IIIThe Fate of the Folk175
10The Massive Modularity Hypothesis177
10.1Massive Modularity177
10.2Language: Paradigm or Outlier?178
10.3Communicative Intentions181
10.4Fodor's Modules and their Limits185
10.5Inward Bound189
10.6Evolution and Encapsulation192
10.7The Poverty of the Stimulus195
10.8The Case of Folk Biology200
10.9Modularity and the Frame Problem205
11Interpreting Other Agents211
11.1A Theory of Mind Module?211
11.2Deconstructing the Folk Psychology Module212
11.3Interpretation, Perception, and Scaffolded Learning221
11.4Truth, Evidence, and Success225
11.5Coordination and Meaning230
11.6Something New under the Sun?234
References241
Index258

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