Skill and Collaboration in the Evolution of Human Cognition

Biological Theory 8 (1):28-36 (2013)
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Abstract

I start with a brief assessment of the implications of Sterelny’s anti-individualist, anti-internalist apprentice learning model for a more historical and interdisciplinary cognitive science. In a selective response I then focus on two core features of his constructive account: collaboration and skill. While affirming the centrality of joint action and decision making, I raise some concerns about the fragility of the conditions under which collaborative cognition brings benefits. I then assess Sterelny’s view of skill acquisition and performance, which runs counter to dominant theories that stress the automaticity of skill. I suggest that it may still overestimate the need for and ability of experts to decompose and represent the elements of their own practical knowledge.

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John Sutton
Macquarie University

References found in this work

The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture.Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby - 1992 - Oxford University Press. Edited by Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby.
Group agency: the possibility, design, and status of corporate agents.Christian List & Philip Pettit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Philip Pettit.
Know How.Jason Stanley - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Cognition in the Wild.Edwin Hutchins - 1998 - Mind 107 (426):486-492.

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