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Department of Cognitive Science

The evolution of technical competence: strategic and economic thinking

Ben Jeffares (
Philosophy Program, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


This paper will outline a series of changes in the archaeological record related to Hominins. I argue that these changes underlie the emergence of the capacity for strategic thinking. The paper will start by examining the foundation of technical skills found in primates, and then work through various phases of the archaeological and paleontological record. I argue that the key driver for the development of strategic thinking was the need to expand range sizes and cope with increasingly heterogeneous environments.

Citation details for this article:

Jeffares, B. (2010). The Evolution of Technical Competence: Strategic and Economic Thinking. In W. Christensen, E. Schier, and J. Sutton (Eds.), ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (pp. 162-169). Sydney: Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science.

DOI: 10.5096/ASCS200925
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