Merlin Donald
Origins of the Modern Mind
Harvard University Press. 1991


pg 2
Keywords: Human cognition - aspects of behavior, including reflexes, instincts, perceptual capacities conditioned behavior, problem solving, insight, curiosity, communication, language, social intelligence, and memory - revolution in cognitive science, a new style of conceptualizing the mind has developed, one that is best described as structural - structural models of mind - my hypothesis is that the modern human mind evolved from the primate mind through a series of major adaptations, each of which led to the emergence of a new representational system - modern representational structure of the human mind - our representational apparatus somehow perceived the utility of symbols and invented them from whole cloth; no symbolic environment preceded them - symbolic reference - to understand or use a symbol appropriately in context you must first understand what it represents, and this referential understanding is inherently nonsymbolic -

pg 148

Keywords: episodic memory - semantic memory - event perception - The difference between an ape and a human child apparently resides in how event perceptions are encoded and remembered. In the ape, where episodic memory is the dominant device, the event can only be remembered in a literal, situation-specific manner

pg 267
Keywords: Mythic culture - Episodic, mimetic, and mythic culture are all broad, unifying concepts that express the dominant cognitive quality of the individual mind in relation to society. The two previous transitions represented major qualitative breaks with the cognitive past. A third cognitive transition likewise is signaled by a major break with the previous cultural pattern - that is, a break with the dominance of spoken language and narrative styles of thought - Theoretic culture - Three crucial cognitive phenomena appear to have been underdeveloped, or virtually absent, in oral-mythic culture. These phenomena are graphic invention, external memory, and theory construction - The first step in any new area of theory development is always antimythic: things and events must be stripped of their previous mythic significances before they can be subjected to what we call "objective" theoretic analysis. In fact, the meaning of "objectivity" is precisely this: a process of demythologization


Language-Evolution

Merlin Donald

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