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  1. Pieter R. Adriaens & Andreas de Block (eds.) (2011). Maladapting Minds: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Evolutionary Theory. Oxford University Press.
    Maladapting Minds discusses a number of reasons why philosophers of psychiatry should take an interest in evolutionary explanations of mental disorders and, more generally, in evolutionary thinking. First of all, there is the nascent field of evolutionary psychiatry. Unlike other psychiatrists, evolutionary psychiatrists engage with ultimate, rather than proximate, questions about mental illnesses. Being a young and youthful new discipline, evolutionary psychiatry allows for a nice case study in the philosophy of science. Secondly, philosophers of psychiatry have engaged with evolutionary (...)
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  2. Michael L. Anderson, Massive Redeployment and the Evolution of Cognition.
    Part of understanding the functional organization of the brain is understanding how it evolved. This talk presents evidence suggesting that while the brain may have originally emerged as an organ with functionally dedicated regions, the creative re-use of these regions has played a significant role in its evolutionary development. This would parallel the evolution of other capabilities wherein existing structures, evolved for other purposes, are re-used and built upon in the course of continuing evolutionary development (“exaptation”: Gould & Vrba 1982). (...)
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  3. Sergio Balari & Guillermo Lorenzo (2008). Pere Alberch's Developmental Morphospaces and the Evolution of Cognition. Biological Theory 3 (4):297-304.
    In this article we argue for an extension of Pere Alberch’s notion of developmental morphospace into the realm of cognition and introduce the notion of cognitive phenotype as a new tool for the evolutionary and developmental study of cognitive abilities.
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  4. Anna M. Barrett, Anne L. Foundas & Kenneth M. Heilman (2005). Speech and Gesture Are Mediated by Independent Systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):125-126.
    Arbib suggests that language emerged in direct relation to manual gestural communication, that Broca's area participates in producing and imitating gestures, and that emotional facial expressions contributed to gesture-language coevolution. We discuss functional and structural evidence supporting localization of the neuronal modules controlling limb praxis, speech and language, and emotional communication. Current evidence supports completely independent limb praxis and speech/language systems.
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  5. H. Clark Barrett, Evolved Cognitive Mechanisms and Human Behavior.
    In Crawford, C. & Krebs, D. (eds.) Foundations of evolutionary psychology: Ideas, issues, applications and findings. (2nd Ed.) Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum Associates.
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  6. Jonathan Birch (2014). How Cooperation Became the Norm. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):433-444.
    Most of the contributions to Cooperation and Its Evolution grapple with the distinctive challenges presented by the project of explaining human sociality. Many of these puzzles have a ‘chicken and egg’ character: our virtually unparalleled capacity for large-scale cooperation is the product of psychological, behavioural, and demographic changes in our recent evolutionary history, and these changes are linked by complex patterns of reciprocal dependence. There is much we do not yet understand about the timing of these changes, and about the (...)
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  7. Jonathan Birch (2013). Explaining the Human Syndrome. [REVIEW] Metascience 22 (2):347-350.
  8. Derek Browne (2005). Book Review the Evolution of Cognition. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 72 (3):489-491.
  9. Tom Burke (2005). The Role of Abstract Reference in Mead's Account of Human Origins. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 41 (3):567 - 601.
    This paper addresses issues regarding human origins, drawing particularly on George Herbert Mead's account of the emergence of self consciousness as a product of social and physical evolution. Some of John Dewey's ideas on the nature of thought and language are added to that account. The so called "great leap" in human evolution that occurred some 50,000 years ago is attributed not just to the emergence of symbols or language but to the development of fully recursive languages suited for reference (...)
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  10. Werner Callebaut & Diego Rasskin-Gutman (eds.) (2005). Modularity. Understanding the Development and Evolution of Natural Complex Systems. MIT Press.
    This collection broadens the scientific discussion of modularity by bringing together experts from a variety of disciplines, including artificial life, ...
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  11. Angelo Cangelosi, Alberto Greco & Stevan Harnad (2002). Symbol Grounding and the Symbolic Theft Hypothesis. In A. Cangelosi & D. Parisi (eds.), Simulating the Evolution of Language. Springer-Verlag. 191--210.
    Scholars studying the origins and evolution of language are also interested in the general issue of the evolution of cognition. Language is not an isolated capability of the individual, but has intrinsic relationships with many other behavioral, cognitive, and social abilities. By understanding the mechanisms underlying the evolution of linguistic abilities, it is possible to understand the evolution of cognitive abilities. Cognitivism, one of the current approaches in psychology and cognitive science, proposes that symbol systems capture mental phenomena, and attributes (...)
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  12. Dr Wayne Christensen (2010). The Decoupled Representation Theory of the Evolution of Cognition--A Critical Assessment. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):361-405.
    Sterelny’s Thought in a Hostile World ([ 2003 ]) presents a complex, systematically structured theory of the evolution of cognition centered on a concept of decoupled representation. Taking Godfrey-Smith’s ([ 1996 ]) analysis of the evolution of behavioral flexibility as a framework, the theory describes increasingly complex grades of representation beginning with simple detection and culminating with decoupled representation, said to be belief-like, and it characterizes selection forces that drive evolutionary transformations in these forms of representation. Sterelny’s ultimate explanatory target (...)
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  13. Jason Clark (2012). Integrating Basic and Higher-Cognitive Emotions Within a Common Evolutionary Framework: Lessons From the Transformation of Primate Dominance Into Human Pride. Philosophical Psychology 26 (3):437-460.
    Many argue that higher-cognitive emotions such as pride arose de novo in humans, and thus fall outside of the scope of the kinds of evolutionary explanations offered for ?basic emotions,? like fear. This approach fractures the general category of ?emotion? into two deeply distinct kinds of emotion. However, an increasing number of emotion researchers are converging on the conclusion that higher-cognitive emotions are evolutionarily rooted in simpler emotional responses found in primates. I argue that pride fits this pattern, and then (...)
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  14. Denise D. Cummins & Robert C. Cummins (2005). Innate Modules Vs Innate Learning Biases. Cognitive Processing.
    Proponents of the dominant paradigm in evolutionary psychology argue that a viable evolutionary cognitive psychology requires that specific cognitive capacities be heritable and “quasi-independent” from other heritable traits, and that these requirements are best satisfied by innate cognitive modules. We argue here that neither of these are required in order to describe and explain how evolution shaped the mind.
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  15. Denise D. Cummins & Robert C. Cummins (1999). Biological Preparedness and Evolutionary Explanation. Cognition 73 (3):B37-B53.
    It is commonly supposed that evolutionary explanations of cognitive phenomena involve the assumption that the capacities to be explained are both innate and modular. This is understandable: independent selection of a trait requires that it be both heritable and largely decoupled from other `nearby' traits. Cognitive capacities realized as innate modules would certainly satisfy these contraints. A viable evolutionary cognitive psychology, however, requires neither extreme nativism nor modularity, though it is consistent with both. In this paper, we seek to show (...)
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  16. Helen de Cruz & Johan de Smedt (2012). Evolved Cognitive Biases and the Epistemic Status of Scientific Beliefs. Philosophical Studies 157 (3):411-429.
    Our ability for scientific reasoning is a byproduct of cognitive faculties that evolved in response to problems related to survival and reproduction. Does this observation increase the epistemic standing of science, or should we treat scientific knowledge with suspicion? The conclusions one draws from applying evolutionary theory to scientific beliefs depend to an important extent on the validity of evolutionary arguments (EAs) or evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs). In this paper we show through an analytical model that cultural transmission of scientific (...)
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  17. Helen de Cruz & Johan de Smedt (2010). Paley's Ipod: The Cognitive Basis of the Design Argument Within Natural Theology. Zygon 45 (3):665-684.
    The argument from design stands as one of the most intuitively compelling arguments for the existence of a divine Creator. Yet, for many scientists and philosophers, Hume's critique and Darwin's theory of natural selection have definitely undermined the idea that we can draw any analogy from design in artifacts to design in nature. Here, we examine empirical studies from developmental and experimental psychology to investigate the cognitive basis of the design argument. From this it becomes clear that humans spontaneously discern (...)
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  18. Helen de Cruz & Johan de Smedt (2007). The Role of Intuitive Ontologies in Scientific Understanding – the Case of Human Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):351-368.
    Psychological evidence suggests that laypeople understand the world around them in terms of intuitive ontologies which describe broad categories of objects in the world, such as ‘person’, ‘artefact’ and ‘animal’. However, because intuitive ontologies are the result of natural selection, they only need to be adaptive; this does not guarantee that the knowledge they provide is a genuine reflection of causal mechanisms in the world. As a result, science has parted ways with intuitive ontologies. Nevertheless, since the brain is evolved (...)
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  19. Ellen Fridland (2013). Imitation, Skill Learning, and Conceptual Thought: An Embodied, Developmental Approach. In Liz Swan (ed.), Origins of Mind. 203--224.
  20. Mattia Gallotti & John Michael (2014). Objects in Mind. In Mattia Gallotti & John Michael (eds.), Perspectives on Social Ontology and Social Cognition. Springer.
  21. Claudia Lorena García (2007). Cognitive Modularity, Biological Modularity and Evolvability. Biological Theory: Integrating Development, Evolution and Cognition (KLI) 2 (1):62-73.
    There is an argument that has recently been deployed in favor of thinking that the mind is mostly (or even exclusively) composed of cognitive modules; an argument that draws from some ideas and concepts of evolutionary and of developmental biology. In a nutshell, the argument concludes that a mind that is massively composed of cognitive mechanisms that are cognitively modular (henceforth, c-modular) is more evolvable than a mind that is not c-modular (or that is scarcely c-modular), since a cognitive mechanism (...)
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  22. Steven Gross (2010). Origins of Human Communication - by Michael Tomasello. Mind and Language 25 (2):237-246.
  23. Ben Jeffares, The Evolution of Technical Competence: Economic and Strategic Thinking. ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science.
    This paper will outline a series of changes in the archaeological record related to Hominins. I argue that these changes underlie the emergence of the capacity for strategic thinking. The paper will start by examining the foundation of technical skills found in primates, and then work through various phases of the archaeological and paleontological record. I argue that the key driver for the development of strategic thinking was the need to expand range sizes and cope with increasingly heterogeneous environments.
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  24. Mostyn W. Jones, Humans and Persons.
    Traditional ways of characterizing humans and persons are vague and simplistic. For example, persons are often defined as having free will and responsibility – but what actual powers underlie these vague metaphysical abstractions? Traditional answers like "rationality" and "creativity" are still vague, and also simplistic. Similar traits appear as defining traits of humans, yet we’re far too complex to be distinguished from other species in such simple and tight ways. But there may be a looser hallmark of humans that just (...)
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  25. Julian Kiverstein & Mirko Farina (2011). Embraining Culture: Leaky Minds and Spongy Brains. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (2).
    We offer an argument for the extended mind based on considerations from brain development. We argue that our brains develop to function in partnership with cognitive resources located in our external environments. Through our cultural upbringing we are trained to use artefacts in problem solving that become factored into the cognitive routines our brains support. Our brains literally grow to work in close partnership with resources we regularly and reliably interact with. We take this argument to be in line with (...)
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  26. John Klasios (2014). The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating: A Response to Buller's Critique. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 47:1-11.
    In this paper, I critique arguments made by philosopher David Buller against central evolutionary-psychological explanations of human mating. Specifically, I aim to rebut his criticisms of Evolutionary Psychology regarding (1) women's long-term mating preferences for high-status men; (2) the evolutionary rationale behind men's provisioning of women; (3) men's mating preferences for young women; (4) women's adaptation for extra-pair sex; (5) the sex-differentiated evolutionary theory of human jealousy; and (6) the notion of mate value. In sum, I aim to demonstrate that (...)
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  27. John Klasios (2013). Cognitive Traits as Sexually Selected Fitness Indicators. Review of General Psychology 17 (4):428-442.
    The evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller has argued that various features of human psychology have been sculpted, at least in part, by the evolutionary process of sexual selection via mate choice. This paper specifically examines the central claim of Miller’s account, namely that certain cognitive traits have evolved to function as good genes fitness indicators. First, I expound on and clarify key foundational concepts comprising the focal hypothesis, especially condition-dependence, mutation target size, and mutation-selection balance. Second, I proceed to highlight some (...)
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  28. Ehud Lamm & Ohad Kammar (forthcoming). Inferring Co-Evolution. Philosophy of Science.
    We discuss two inference patterns for inferring the coevolution of two characters based on their properties at a single point in time and determine when developmental interactions can be used to deduce evolutionary order. We discuss the use of the inference patterns we present in the biological literature and assess the arguments’ validity, the degree of support they give to the evolutionary conclusion, how they can be corroborated with empirical evidence, and to what extent they suggest new empirically addressable questions. (...)
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  29. James Maclaurin (2002). Why Minds Evolve. [REVIEW] Metascience 11 (1):127-130.
    A review of Kim Sterleny's The Evolution of Agency and Other Essays.
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  30. Nicholas Maxwell (2001). Evolution of Sentience, Consciousness and Language Viewed From a Darwinian and Purposive Perspective. In From The Human World in the Physical Universe: Consciousness, Free Will and Evolution, ch. 7. Rowman and Littlefield. 162-201.
    In this article I give a Darwinian account of how sentience, consciousness and language may have evolved. It is argued that sentience and consciousness emerge as brains control purposive actions in new ways. A key feature of this account is that Darwinian theory is interpreted so as to do justice to the purposive character of living things. According to this interpretation, as evolution proceeds, purposive actions play an increasingly important role in the mechanisms of evolution until, with evolution by cultural (...)
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  31. Andrew McAninch, Grant Goodrich & Colin Allen (2009). Animal Communication and Neo-Expressivism. In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. 128--144.
    One of the earliest issues in cognitive ethology concerned the meaning of animal signals. In the 1970s and 1980s this debate was most active with respect to the question of whether animal alarm calls convey information about the emotional states of animals or whether they “refer” directly to predators in the environment (Seyfarth, Cheney, & Marler 1980; see Radick 2007 for a historical account), but other areas, such as vocalizations about food and social contact, were also widely discussed. In the (...)
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  32. Christophe Menant, Introduction to a Systemic Theory of Meaning (Jan 2010 Update).
    Information and Meaning are present everywhere around us and within ourselves. Specific studies have been implemented in order to link information and meaning: - Semiotics - Phenomenology - Analytic Philosophy - Psychology No general coverage is available for the notion of meaning. We propose to complement this lack by a systemic approach to meaning generation.
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  33. Christophe Menant, Evolution of Meaningful Information Generation Through the Evolution of Life (2003).
    In this paper, we use the Meaning Generator System (MGS) presented at Gathering in Biosemiotics 2 [1] to analyse the evolution of meaningful information generation through different steps of the evolution of life. Taking as a starting point the usage of MGS for vital constraint satisfaction in basic life (paramecium), we develop its application for more complex living elements up to the case of non-human primate. The thread we follow is relative to the identification of new constraints that can appear (...)
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  34. Christophe Menant, From Biosemiotics to Semiotics (2002).
    Biosemiotics and Semiotics have similarities and differences. Both deal with signal and meaning. One difference is that Biosemiotics covers a domain (life) that is less complex that the one addressed by Semiotics (human). We believe that this difference can be used to have Biosemiotics bringing added value to Semiotics. This belief is based on the fact that a theory of meaning is easier to build up for living elements than for humans, and that the results obtained for life can make (...)
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  35. Christophe Menant (2014). Introduction to a Systemic Theory of Meaning (July 2014 Update). Dissertation,
    Information and Meaning are present everywhere around us and within ourselves. Specific studies have been implemented in order to link information and meaning: - Semiotics - Phenomenology - Analytic Philosophy - Psychology No general coverage is available for the notion of meaning. We propose to complement this lack by a systemic approach to meaning generation.
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  36. Christophe Menant, Proposal for an Approach to Artificial Consciousness Based on Self-Consciousness (2007). AAAI Fall Symposium Series Technical Reports.
    Current research on artificial consciousness is focused on phenomenal consciousness and on functional consciousness. We propose to shift the focus to self-consciousness in order to open new areas of investigation. We use an existing scenario where self-consciousness is considered as the result of an evolution of representations. Application of the scenario to the possible build up of a conscious robot also introduces questions relative to emotions in robots. Areas of investigation are proposed as a continuation of this approach.
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  37. Christophe Menant (2005). Information and Meaning in Life, Humans and Robots (2005). Proceedings of FIS2005 by MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
    Information and meaning exist around us and within ourselves, and the same information can correspond to different meanings. This is true for humans and animals, and is becoming true for robots. We propose here an overview of this subject by using a systemic tool related to meaning generation that has already been published (C. Menant, Entropy 2003). The Meaning Generator System (MGS) is a system submitted to a constraint that generates a meaningful information when it receives an incident information that (...)
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  38. Christophe Menant (2003). Information and Meaning. [Journal (on-Line/Unpaginated)] 5:193-204.
    We propose here to clarify some of the relations existing between information and meaning by showing how meaningful information can be generated by a system submitted to a constraint. We build up definitions and properties for meaningful information, a meaning generator system and the domain of efficiency of a meaning (to cover cases of meaningful information transmission). Basic notions of information processing are used.
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  39. Thomas Metzinger (2008). Empirical Perspectives From the Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity: A Brief Summary with Examples. In Rahul Banerjee & B. K. Chakrabarti (eds.), Models of Brain and Mind: Physical, Computational, and Psychological Approaches. Elsevier.
  40. Marco Mirolli (2011). Towards a Vygotskyan Cognitive Robotics: The Role of Language as a Cognitive Tool. New Ideas in Psychology 29:298-311.
    Cognitive Robotics can be defined as the study of cognitive phenomena by their modeling in physical artifacts such as robots. This is a very lively and fascinating field which has already given fundamental contributions to our understanding of natural cognition. Nonetheless, robotics has to date addressed mainly very basic, low­level cognitive phenomena like sensory­motor coordination, perception, and navigation, and it is not clear how the current approach might scale up to explain high­level human cognition. In this paper we argue that (...)
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  41. Hisashi Nakao & Edouard Machery (2012). The Evolution of Punishment. Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):833-850.
    Many researchers have assumed that punishment evolved as a behavior-modification strategy, i.e. that it evolved because of the benefits resulting from the punishees modifying their behavior. In this article, however, we describe two alternative mechanisms for the evolution of punishment: punishment as a loss-cutting strategy (punishers avoid further exploitation by punishees) and punishment as a cost-imposing strategy (punishers impair the violator’s capacity to harm the punisher or its genetic relatives). Through reviewing many examples of punishment in a wide range of (...)
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  42. Jörg R. J. Schirra & Klaus Sachs-Hombach (2006). Fähigkeiten zum Bild- und Sprachgebrauch. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 54 (6):887-905.
    There is a long tradition of characterizing man as the talking animal. However, the remarkable ability of using pictures also belongs to human beings, after all we know empirically so far. Are there conceptual reasons for that coincidence? Such a question belongs to the general science of language (linguistics) and philosophy of language just as well as to general visualistics (image science) - a discipline just emancipating itself from art history. We here take the visualistics point of view. A first (...)
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  43. Kim Shaw-Williams (2011). The Triggering Track-Ways Theory. Dissertation, Victoria University of Wellington
    In this thesis I present a new paradigm in human evolutionary theory: the relevance of track-ways reading (TWR) to the evolution of human cognition, culture and communication. Evidence is presented that strongly indicates hominins were exploiting conspecific track-ways 4 million years ago. For a non-olfactory ape that was a specialized forager in open, featureless wetland environments, they were the only viable natural signs to exploit for safety, orienteering, and recognizable social markers. Due to the unique cognitive demands of reading track-ways, (...)
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  44. Kim Sterelny & Ben Jeffares (2010). Rational Agency in Evolutionary Perspective. In Timothy O'Connor & Constantine Sandis (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Action. Wiley-Blackwell.
  45. John Sutton (2014). The Collaborative Emergence of Group Cognition: Commentary on Paul E. Smaldino, “The Cultural Evolution of Emergent Group-Level Traits”. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):277-78.
    We extend Smaldino’s approach to collaboration and social organization in cultural evolution to include cognition. By showing how recent work on emergent group-level cognition can be incorporated within Smaldino’s framework, we extend that framework’s scope to encompass collaborative memory, decision-making, and intelligent action. We argue that beneficial effects arise only in certain forms of cognitive interdependence, in surprisingly fragile conditions.
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  46. Georg Theiner & John Sutton (2014). The Collaborative Emergence of Group Cognition: Commentary on Paul E. Smaldino, "The Cultural Evolution of Emergent Group-Level Traits". Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):277-278.
    We extend Smaldino’s approach to collaboration and social organization in cultural evolution to include cognition. By showing how recent work on emergent group-level cognition can be incorporated within Smaldino’s framework, we extend that framework’s scope to encompass collaborative memory, decision-making, and intelligent action. We argue that beneficial effects arise only in certain forms of cognitive interdependence, in surprisingly fragile conditions.
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  47. Michael A. Trestman (2013). The Cambrian Explosion and the Origins of Embodied Cognition. Biological Theory 8 (1):80-92.
    Around 540 million years ago there was a sudden, dramatic adaptive radiation known as the Cambrian Explosion. This event marked the origin of almost all of the phyla (major lineages characterized by fundamental body plans) of animals that would ever live on earth, as well the appearance of many notable features such as rigid skeletons and other hard parts, complex jointed appendages, eyes, and brains. This radical evolutionary event has been a major puzzle for evolutionary biologists since Darwin, and while (...)
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  48. Michael A. Trestman (2013). Which Comes First in Major Transitions: The Behavioral Chicken, or the Evolutionary Egg? Biological Theory 7 (1):48 - 55.
    This paper takes a close look at the role of behavior in the “major transitions” in evolution—events during which inheritance and development, and therefore the process of adaptation by natural selection, are reorganized at a new level of compositional hierarchy—and at the requirements for sufficiently explaining these important events in the history of life. I argue that behavior played a crucial role in driving at least some of the major transitions. Because behavioral interactions can become stably organized in novel ways (...)
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  49. Neil Van Leeuwen (2011). Review of Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Brains. [REVIEW] Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 16 (5):473-478.
    The book I review, _Sleights of Mind_, aims to illuminate properties of perceptual systems by discussing human susceptibility to magical illusions. I describe how the authors use psychological principles to explain two tricks, spoon bending and the Miser's Dream. I also argue that the book is congenial to the following view of illusions: susceptibility to illusion is the result of evolutionary trade-offs; perceptual systems must make assumptions in order to function at all, but susceptibility to illusion is the byproduct of (...)
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  50. Neil Van Leeuwen (2008). Finite Rational Self-Deceivers. Philosophical Studies 139 (2):191 - 208.
    I raise three puzzles concerning self-deception: (i) a conceptual paradox, (ii) a dilemma about how to understand human cognitive evolution, and (iii) a tension between the fact of self-deception and Davidson’s interpretive view. I advance solutions to the first two and lay a groundwork for addressing the third. The capacity for self-deception, I argue, is a spandrel, in Gould’s and Lewontin’s sense, of other mental traits, i.e., a structural byproduct. The irony is that the mental traits of which self-deception is (...)
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