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The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Synopsis:

essential reading for developmental psychology, animal behavior, and cultural psychology.

Synopsis:

Bridging the gap between evolutionary theory and cultural psychology, Michael 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, not just what someone else does, but what someone else has intended to do. Tomasello further describes with authority and ingenuity how these capacities work over evolutionary and historical time to create the kind of cultural artifacts and settings within which each new generation of children develops.

Synopsis:

2001 William James Book Award, Division 1 of the American Psychological Association

About the Author

Michael Tomasello is Co-Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

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

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674005822
Author:
Tomasello, Michael
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Cognitive Psychology
Subject:
Ethnic Studies
Subject:
Psychology-Cognitive Science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
March 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 line illustrations, 3 tables
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 6 x 1 in 12 oz

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Learning
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
Humanities » Philosophy » General

The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition New Trade Paper
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$39.25 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674005822 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , essential reading for developmental psychology, animal behavior, and cultural psychology.
"Synopsis" by , Bridging the gap between evolutionary theory and cultural psychology, Michael 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, not just what someone else does, but what someone else has intended to do. Tomasello further describes with authority and ingenuity how these capacities work over evolutionary and historical time to create the kind of cultural artifacts and settings within which each new generation of children develops.
"Synopsis" by , 2001 William James Book Award, Division 1 of the American Psychological Association
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