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

0383 Chapter five is titled “Human Thinking as Cooperation”.

Tomasello considers other theories of human cognitive evolution (but not including Razie Mah’s masterwork, The Human Niche, available at smashwords and other e-book venues).

He draws four general propositions.

0384 One, for the era of individual intentionality, competition with groupmates leads to sophisticated forms of primate social and practical cognition, characteristic of great apes.

Two, for the era of joint intentionality, obligate collaborative foraging favors the evolution of new forms of hominin social coordination and thinking, without (what a modern anthropologist would label) culture.

Three, for the era of collective intentionality, intergroup competition, exploration of novel ecologies and environments, and larger group size favors the evolution of conventionalized culture.

Fourth, in regards to whatever may be missing in the first, second and third points, culture accumulates and allows specializations that cultivate a wide variety of cognitive skills and types of thinking.

0385 This examination demonstrates that each of these four general propositions coheres with the hypothesis contained in The Human Niche.

This may not be a surprise, since Razie Mah’s masterwork summarizes commentaries on four works in evolutionary anthropology, published within the past three decades.

0386 Here is a list of the four commentaries.

Comments on Steven Mithen’s Book (1996) The Prehistory of The Mind

Comments on Clive Gamble, John Gowlett and Robin Dunbar’s Book (2014) Thinking Big

Comments on Derek Bickerton’s Book (2014) More Than Nature Needs

Comments on Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky’s Book (2016) Why Only Us?

0387 Along with A Primer on Natural Signs and the masterwork, The Human Niche, these four commentaries constitute A Course on The Human Niche, available at smashwords and other e-book venues.

0388 But, that is not all.

This examination of Tomasello’s arc of inquiry continues.