Skill and collaboration in the evolution of human cognition

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    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)28-36
    Number of pages9
    JournalBiological theory
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Action
    • Collaboration
    • Collective cognition
    • Coordination
    • Expertise
    • Skill


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