David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):513-524 (2012)
What was the role of music in the evolutionary history of human beings? We address this question from the point of view that musicality can be defined as a cognitive trait. Although it has been argued that we will never know how cognitive traits evolved (Lewontin, 1998), we argue that we may know the evolution of music by investigating the fundamental cognitive mechanisms of musicality, for example, relative pitch, tonal encoding of pitch, and beat induction. In addition, we show that a nomological network of evidence (Schmitt & Pilcher, 2004) can be built around the hypothesis that musicality is a cognitive adaptation. Within this network, different modes of evidence are gathered to support a specific evolutionary hypothesis. We show that the combination of psychological, medical, physiological, genetic, phylogenetic, hunter–gatherer, and cross-cultural evidence indicates that musicality is a cognitive adaptation.
|Keywords||Beat induction Relative pitch Musicality Adaptation Evolutionary psychology Music cognition Innateness|
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References found in this work BETA
Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby (eds.) (1992). The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Anton Killin (2013). The Arts and Human Nature: Evolutionary Aesthetics and the Evolutionary Status of Art Behaviours. Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):703-718.
David Huron (2012). Two Challenges in Cognitive Musicology. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):678-684.
Adrian Currie & Anton Killin (forthcoming). Musical Pluralism and the Science of Music. European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-22.
Marcus Pearce & Martin Rohrmeier (2012). Music Cognition and the Cognitive Sciences. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):468-484.
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