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The Skilful Origins of Human Normative Cognition

The Skilful Origins of Human Normative Cognition AbstractI briefly present and motivate a ‘skill hypothesis’ regarding the evolution of human normative cognition. On this hypothesis, the capacity to internally represent action-guiding norms evolved as a solution to the distinctive problems of standardizing, learning and teaching complex motor skills and craft skills, especially skills related to toolmaking. We have an evolved cognitive architecture for internalizing norms of technique, which was then co-opted for a rich array of social functions. There was a gradual expansion of the normative domain, with ritual playing an important role in bridging the gap between concrete, enacted norms and general, abstract norms, such as kinship norms. I conclude by stating nine predictions arising from the skill hypothesis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Analyse & Kritik de Gruyter

The Skilful Origins of Human Normative Cognition

Analyse & Kritik , Volume 43 (1): 12 – Jun 1, 2021

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
ISSN
0171-5860
DOI
10.1515/auk-2021-0010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractI briefly present and motivate a ‘skill hypothesis’ regarding the evolution of human normative cognition. On this hypothesis, the capacity to internally represent action-guiding norms evolved as a solution to the distinctive problems of standardizing, learning and teaching complex motor skills and craft skills, especially skills related to toolmaking. We have an evolved cognitive architecture for internalizing norms of technique, which was then co-opted for a rich array of social functions. There was a gradual expansion of the normative domain, with ritual playing an important role in bridging the gap between concrete, enacted norms and general, abstract norms, such as kinship norms. I conclude by stating nine predictions arising from the skill hypothesis.

Journal

Analyse & Kritikde Gruyter

Published: Jun 1, 2021

Keywords: normative cognition; skill; cognitive control; norms; evolution

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