How to start a wet forest ablaze: perspectives on the question of the origins of human mindedness

Will Newsome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper is a methodological and theoretical meditation on how some research has approached the question of the evolution of human cognitive traits. I discuss views that explicitly or implicitly endorse a view of human cognition as originating from a cause that can be singled out. Following Ross and Ladyman (2010), I suggest that this "singling-out" strategy correlates with a "container" metaphor that doesn't fit with the interactive process-ontology of modern physics (Campbell 2009). Instead, Ross and Ladyman as well as Campbell recommend the metaphor of 'emergence'. The logic and ontology of emergent systems finds resonance with developmental systems theory in biology. I suggest in agreement with Stotz (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9(4), 2010) that we view the origins of human mindedness within such a framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-322
Number of pages12
JournalBiosemiotics
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Dynamical systems
  • Emergence
  • Evolution

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