Looking at Michael Tomasello’s Book (2014) “A Natural History of Human Thinking” (Part 3 of 22)

0199 With the previous blog in mind, I may return to the magnificent sentence at the start of chapter one.  I will compare it to the virtual nested form in the realm of actuality for Tomasello’s vision.

0200 The first half of the sentence, “Human thinking is individual improvisation…”, corresponds to the normal context and the actuality of the following nested form.

The second half of the sentence, “…enmeshed in a sociocultural matrix.”, corresponds to the actuality and the potential.

0201 Human thinking2c’ is phenotypical.  Each phenotypic expression (or individual) must improvise in response to events in nature and in human culture.  Fortunately, for me, the topic of how humans think has been around a long time.  Premodern medieval schoolmen use Aristotle to construct a formula that (ironically) may be diagrammed by a postmodern scholar, Razie Mah, using category-based nested forms.  The scholastic three-level interscope for the way humans think contains three sign-relations, carrying the labels of specifying, exemplar and interventional.

0202 Human culture2b’ habituates all three types of sign.

0203 Chimpanzees embody specifying signs.  Specifying signs present puzzles that require general intelligence. Many chimpanzee interventional signs are innate.  For example, some gestures and vocalizations are involuntary signals.  At the same time, many gestures are voluntary.  Requests involve voluntary gestures.

0204 Early hominins, such as some australopithecines and early Homo, use voluntary gestures to request, inform and share.  This promotes the exemplar sign as an adaptation.  The sign-object of an exemplar sign does not yield an involuntary sign-vehicle for the interventional sign.  Rather, following Tomasello, a perspective-level judgment2c,occurring in the normal context of a common ground3c and emerging from the potential of shared intentionality1c,initiates a voluntary, gesture-based interventional sign.

Also, I can say, “Following medieval scholastics, a perspective-level judgment2c, occurring in the normal context asking, ‘Does this make sense?’3c and operating upon the potential of ‘putting the situation into perspective’1c, initiates a species impressa2a.”

0205 Human culture2b’ enhances the reproductive success of joint attention2a’ and grounds the ontogenetic development of individual thought2c’.

0206 What solidifies hominin culture2b’ as a situation-level actuality?

Is it the substance of Tomasello’s research hylomorphe?

0207 Or is it a manifestation of an adjusted scholastic interscope for the way humans think?

Or both?