Evolution menschlicher Gesellschaften
Michael Tomasello The Cultural Origins of HUMAN COGNITION
Harvard Univ. Press 2000 pg.1
Somewhere in Africa, sometime about 6 million years ago, in a routine evolutionary event, a population of great apes became reproductively isolated from its conspecifics. This new group evolved and split into still other groups, leading eventually to several different species of bipedal ape of the genus Australopithecus. All of these new species eventually died out except one that survived until about 2 million years ago, by which time it had changed so much that it needed not just a new species designation but a new genus designation, Homo. Compared with its australopithecine forebears-who were four feet tall with ape-sized brains and no stone tools - Homo was larger physically, had a larger brain, and made stone tools. Before long, Homo began to travel the globe widely, although none of its early forays out of Africa succeeded in establishing any populations that survived permanently.
Then, somewhere still in Africa, sometime about 200,000 years ago, one population of Homo began on a new and different evolutionary trajectory. It began living in new ways in Africa and then spread out across the world, outcompeting all other papulations of Homo and leaving descendants that are known today as Homo sapiens. The individuals of this new species had a number of new physical characteristics, including somewhat larger brains, but most striking were the new cognitive skills and products they created:
They began to produce a plethora of new stone tools adapted to specific ends, with each population of the species creating its own tool-use "industry" - resulting eventually in some populations creating such things as computerized manufacturing processes.
They began to use symbols to communicate and to structure their social lives, including not only linguistic symbols but also artistic symbols in the form of stone carvings and cave paintingsresulting eventually in some populations creating such things as written language, money, mathematical notation, and art.
They began to engage in new kinds of social practices and organizations, including everything from the burying of the dead ceremonially to the domestication of plants and animals-resulting eventually in some populations creating such things as formalized religious, governmental, educational, and commercial institutions.
Human Primates: Thomas Hobbes - The life of man: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short - see: Kuper
Immanuel Kant: Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlicher Absicht. 6. Satz.
Der Mensch ist ein Thier, das, wenn es unter andern seiner Gattung lebt, einen Herrn nöthig hat. Denn er missbraucht gewiss seine Freiheit in Ansehung anderer Seinesgleichen ; und ob er gleich als vernünftiges Geschöpf ein Gesetz wünscht, welches der Freiheit Aller Schranken setze: so verleitet ihn doch seine selbstsüchtige thierische Neigung, wo er darf, sich selbst auszunehmen. Er bedarf also einen Herrn, der ihm den eigenen Willen breche und ihn nöthige, einem allgemeinen Willen, dabei jeder frei sein kann, zu gehorchen. Wo nimmt er aber diesen Herrn her? Nirgends anders als aus der Menschengattung. Aber dieser ist eben so wohl ein Thier, das einen Herrn nöthig hat. Er mag es also anfangen wie er will; so ist nicht abzusehen, wie er sich ein Oberhaupt der öffentlichen Gerechigkeit verschaffen könne, das selbst gerecht sei; er mag nun in einer einzelnen Person, oder in einer Gesellschaft vieler dazu auserlesener Personen suchen. Denn jeder derselben wird immer seine Freiheit missbrauchen, wenn er keinen über sich hat, der nach Gesetzen über ihn Gewalt ausübt.
The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought
Perseus Books 2001
...our systems for social interaction did not evolve in the context of vast groups and abstract institutions like states, corporations, unions and social classes. We evolved as small bands of foragers and that kind of existence is the context in which we developed the special features of our social mind. Sedentary settlements, large tribes, kingdoms and other such modern institutions are so recent in evolutionary time that we have not yet developed reliable intuitions about them
Soul Made Flesh
The Discovery of the Brain - and How it changed the World
...how the brain makes up its mind. Dopamine is only a simple signal, a flag raised at an unexpected reward. It can work only if the brain has already set up its scale of rewards, so that it can decide that some things are more valuable than others. Why should rolling seven at the craps table feel rewarding, while the sight of a starving child doesn't? Emotions are the reason why. Human emotions are descended from ancient programs that guide animals away from things that might harm them and toward the things they need to survive. The chemicals produced in our bodies at the sight of an oncoming truck aren't profoundly different from the ones produced in a mouse by the sight of an oncoming cat. In both human and mouse, a surge of hormones speeds up the heart and creates an urge to flee or hide. If a mammal is frustrated in a scarch for sex or territory, it may become enraged. If it is separated from its family, it may feel anxiety.
Index_social mirror theory
Social Mirrors and Shared Experiential Worlds
In summary, human play and performance supports an elaborate networking of internal states, from physiology to fantasy, and from unconscious to conscious mentation. Our unique ability to live in shared imagined and imaginary worlds depends on play and the skills we learn in play. Such communization of experience, which both generates and depends on social trust, is essential to modern human culture, and has obvious implications for human 'mindreading' abilities. As we shall see, research in this area suggests that, if we could not share inner experience, we would not know we were having it.
III: Play and Display as the Basis of Consciousness
Social mirror theory
'Social mirror theory' holds that we cannot have mirrors in the mind unless there are mirrors in society. The idea that public display and private experience are inseparably bound together was first proposed by Wilhelm Dilthey (1883-1911 :in Turner, 1982). Dilthey argued that it is 'thought's work' to draw out the structural system or meaning implicit in every distinguishable unit of experience (Erlebnis), and that the process of drawing out meaning is not complete until it has been expressed in performative terms intelligible to others. Introspection depends on public performance, for we can discover our own 'subjective depths' by interpreting the 'meaningfnl objectifications' expressed by others. In a world of objects, we become aware of ourselves as an object among objects, of our bodies in contradistinction to other bodies (Gregory, 1970). There is no logical reason why the same process should not apply equally to other levels of self-awareness: why, for example, we should not learn to perceive our own thoughts and feelings by living in a public world of thoughts and feelings.
Action,Wisdom, and Cognition
Stanford University Press 1999
Wright pg 20
Shoshone Indians - common European supremacism - cultural evolutionism - One premise of cultural evolutionism is "the psychic unity of humankind"-the idea that people everywhere are genetically endowed with the same mental equipment, that there is a universal human nature. The psychic unity of humankind is the reason that around the world, on every continent, cultural evolution has moved in the same direction. The arrow of human history begins with the biology of human nature. - hunter-gatherers - rudimentary social structure of the Shoshone - IOUs are a classic expression of non-zero-sumness - data are often of little or no cost and great benefit; swapping them is one of the oldest forms of non-zero-sum interaction. People by their nature come together to constitute a social information processing system and thus reap positive sums.
Frans de Waal
Building Blocks of Morality
Journal of Consciousness Studies, 7, No. 1-2, 2000, pp. 1-29
The Connected Lives of Ants,Brains,Cities, and Software
THE MIND IN THE CAVE
Consciousness and the Origins of Art
The Epistemology and Technologies of Shamanic States of Consciousness
Journal of Consciousness Studies
Vol.7, No.11/12 2000
CAMPBELL ALAN TORMAID
Getting to Know Waiwai
An Amazonian Ethnography
EGALITARIAN AND MACHIAVELLIAN INTELLIGENCE IN HUMAN EVOLUTION -
MODELLING THE HUMAN MIND
Ed. Paul Mellars/Kathleen Gibson
McDonald Institute Monographies 1996
Keywords: egalitarianism - hunter-gatherer egalitarianism: food-sharing and by a virtually complete absence of hierarchy or dominance - evolution of counter-dominance - psychology of egalitarianism - One key question which this analysis raises is why, given this evolved psychology, the development of herding and agriculture about 10,000 yearsago triggered the creation of big-men, of chiefs, ofclasses and ultimately of multilevel institutionalized hierarchies. As we have said, there was not time for significant biological evolution to take place: these developments must depend on the same psychology as hunter-gatherer egalitarianism. The answer must lie in the fit between the evolved psychological pre-dispositions and the new environment. Since this is no longer the environment in which humans evolved, the evolved predispositions need not in principle lead to behaviour which is functionally effective.The correlation between the proximate cause of the behaviour and the genetic function of the behaviour may be broken in a radically different environment
Human Nature and Cultural Diversity
Harvard University 1996
Keywords: ORIGIN OF SOCIETY - Thomas Hobbes - Jean Jacques Rousseau - territoriality - Complex societies: constitutional theory - Ordered anarchy - Fission and fusion - Roots of sociality - style of inter-group aggression found among the chimpanzees is absent among the egalitarian hunter-gatherers. - Communities of foragers tend to live in remarkable harmony - The principle of reciprocity - Adam Smith - Marcel Mauss - Power and Authority -
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
JAMES R. HURDORD
Edited by Morten H. Christiansen Simon Kirby
Oxford University Press 2003
The Language Mosaic and its Evolution
James R. Hurford
Keywords: Evolutionary linguistics - Linguistic facts reflect acquired states of the brains of speakers - neurogenesis - evolutionary biology - Kauffman (1993; 1995) - Maynard Smith and Szathmary - transition in evolution: increase in complexity - hierarchy of levels of analysis - Ontogenetic plasticity - psychological and social correlates of language - cultural transmission - pre-adaptation - symbolic capacity - Human languages are largely learned systems - Imitation - Complex Concept Formation - Mental Calculation - Pre-Pragmatic Capacities - Mind-reading and manipulation - Cooperation - Elementary Symbolic Capacity - Cultural Evolution of Languages - langue and parole - grammaticalization -
Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind
Keywords : http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/~hpm/book98/ - The world we inhabit is radically different, culturally and physically, from the one to which we adapted biologically - hypertrophied brain - extreme cultural plasticity, along with an ever more expressive language - somewhere, about five thousand years ago in our cultural history, the relationstip between biology and culture began to alter radically. The Cultural Revolution - memes - agricultural civilizations - Industrial Revolution - Robot industries - Mind - machine intelligences -
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