The Evolution of Mind

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Denise D. Cummins, Colin Allen
Oxford University Press, 1998 - Psychology - 264 pages
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Our understanding of the human mind has radically changed in recent years--from the unified mind once envisioned by Ren� Descartes over three hundred years ago to a new understanding of mind as a set of specialized cognitive components gradually accumulated in our evolutionary past. As a result, many scientists and philosophers now believe that our minds emerged out of the same type of evolutionary processes that have shaped our bodies.
In The Evolution of Mind, outstanding figures on the cutting edge of evolutionary psychology follow clues provided by current neuroscientific evidence to illuminate many puzzling questions of human cognitive evolution. With contributions from psychologists, ethologists, anthropologists, and philosophers, the book offers a broad range of approaches to explore the mysteries of the minds evolution--from investigating the biological functions of human cognition to drawing comparisons between human and animal cognitive abilities. This interdisciplinary work presents a comparative and evolutionary perspective on a wide variety of topics, including mental algorithms for reasoning about contingencies, quantities, social norms, and the minds of others; social play and communicative abilities; thought and language, and the role of Darwin's theory of natural selection in evolutionary psychology. Written in a highly readable style, The Evolution of Mind will appeal to a broad range of researchers and students and help set the agenda for the field for years to come.
  

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Contents

An Adaptation for Frequencies
9
The Evolutionary Roots
30
An Evolved Capacicy for Number107
107
The Minds of Children and Animals 107
127
What Can We Learn about Cognition
162
The Evolution of Reference
183
Some Issues in the Evolution of Language and Thought
204
Morgans Canon
224
Dosand Dontsfor DarwinizingPsychology
243
Index
260
Copyright

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About the author (1998)


Denise Dellarosa Cummins, Ph.D. is with the Department of Psychology, California State University, Sacramento. Colin Allen, Ph.D., is with the Department of Philosophy, Texas A&M University.

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