Department of Cognitive Science
The evolution of technical competence: strategic and economic thinking
Ben Jeffares (Ben.Jeffares@vuw.ac.nz)Philosophy Program, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
AbstractThis 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.
Download the PDF here
- Avery, G., Cruz-Uribe, K., Goldberg, P., Grine, F. E., Klein, R. G., Lenardi, M. J., et al. (1997). The 1992-1993 Excavations at the Die Kelders Middle and Later Stone Age Cave Site, South Africa. Journal of field archaeology, 24(3), 263.
- Byrne, R. W., & Whiten, A. (1988). Machiavellian intelligence : social expertise and the evolution of intellect in monkeys, apes, and humans. Oxford, New York: Clarendon Press ;Oxford University Press.
- Cameron, D. W. (2004). Hominid Adaptations and Extinctions. Sydney: UNSW Press.
- Cameron, D. W., & Groves, C. P. (2004). Bones, Stones and Molecules: "Out of Africa" and Human Origins. Burlington: Elsevier.
- Christensen, W. (2009). Agency in Skilled Action. Paper presented at the Australasian Association of Philosophy.
- Coolidge, F. L., & Wynn, T. (2009). The Rise of Homo Sapiens: The Evolution of Modern Thinking. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Dunbar, R. I. M. (1996). Grooming, gossip and the evolution of language. London: Faber and Faber.
- Foley, R. A. (1987). Another Unique Species: Patterns in Evolutionary Ecology: Longman Scientific and Technical.
- Foley, R. A. (1991). How Many Species of Hominid Should There Be? Journal of Human Evolution, 20, 413-427.
- Godfrey-Smith, P. (1996). Complexity and the function of mind in nature. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Hunt, G. R., & Gray, R. D. (2002). Species-wide manufacture of stick-type tools by New Caledonian Crows. Animal Cognition, 102, 349-353.
- Hunt, G. R., & Gray, R. D. (2004). The crafting of hook tools by wild New Caledonian crows. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London (series B), 271, 88-90.
- Hunt, G. R., Rutledge, R. B., & Gray, R. D. (2007). The right tool for the job: what strategies do wild New Caledonian crows use? Animal Cognition, 9(4), 307-316.
- Kohn, M. (2000). As we know it: Coming to terms with an evolved mind. London: Granta Books.
- Kohn, M., & Mithen, S. J. (1999). Handaxes: Products of Sexual Selection? Antiquity, 73, 518-526.
- Laland, K. N., & Hoppitt, W. (2003). Do animals have culture? Evolutionary Anthropology, 12(3), 150-159.
- Landau, M. (1984). Human Evolution as Narrative. American Scientist, 72, 262-268.
- Landau, M. (1991). Narratives of human evolution. New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Lieberman, P. (1998). Eve spoke : human language and human evolution. New York: W.W. Norton.
- Maclarnon, A., & Hewitt, G. (2004). Increased breathing control: Another factor in the evolution of human language. Evolutionary Anthropology, 13(5), 181-197.
- Marwick, B. (2003). Pleistocene Exchange Networks as Evidence for the Evolution of Language. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 13(01), 67-81.
- McGrew, W. C. (1991). Chimpanzee material culture: what are it's limits and why? In R. A. Foley (Ed.), The Origins of Human Behaviour (Vol. 19). London: Unwin Hyman.
- Mithen, S. J. (1996). The Prehistory of the Mind: A Search for the Origins of Art, Religion and Science. London: Thames and Hudson.
- Odell, G. H. (1996). Stone tools: Theoretical Insights into Human Prehistory. New York: Plenum Press.
- Plummer, T. (2004). Flaked stones and old bones: Biological and cultural evolution at the dawn of technology. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 125(S39), 118-164.
- Rendell, L., & Whitehead, H. (2001). Culture in Whales and Dolphins. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 309-382.
- Savage-Rumbaugh, E. S., & Lewin, R. (1994). Kanzi : the ape at the brink of the human mind. New York: Wiley.
- Savage-Rumbaugh, S. (1994). Hominid Evolution: Looking To The Apes For Clues. In D. Quiatt & J. Itani (Eds.), Hominid Culture in Primate Perspective. University Press of Colorado.
- Sterelny, K. (2003). Thought in a hostile world : the evolution of human cognition. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
- Whiten, A., Goodall, J., McGrew, W. C., Nishida, T., Reynolds, V., Sugiyama, Y., et al. (1999). Cultures in chimpanzees. Nature, 399(6737), 682-685.
- Whiten, A., Schick, K., & Toth, N. (2009). The Evolution and Cultural Transmission of Percussive Technology: Integrating Evidence from Palaeoanthropology and Primatology. Journal of human evolution, 57(4), 420-435.
- Wynn, T. (2002). Archaeology and Cognitive Evolution. Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 25(3), 389-438.
- Wednesday 22nd Feb,
Dr Dries Trippas,
"Belief bias in syllogistic reasoning: A meta-analysis of ROC data."
- Thursday 23rd Feb,
Dr Edwin Burns,
"Our experiences with faces and language shape face perception."
- Friday 24th Feb,
"Perception of L2 morphophonology by Mandarin learners of English. ..."
- Wednesday 1st Mar,
Professor Ocke-Schwen Bohn,
"Infant directed speech and its implications for language development: ..."
- Wednesday 1st Mar,
Distinguished Professor Douglas H Whalen,
"Characteristics and usefulness of phonetic variability. (CLaS-CCD ..."
- Dr Mariia Kaliuzhna
- Professor Karin Landerl
- Xiaohe Yuan
- Professor Roelien Bastiaanse
- Professor Gabriele Miceli
- Professor David Howard
- Professor Barbara Höhle
- Associate Professor Douglas Cheyne
- Professor Masanori Higuchi
- Associate Professor Daisuke Oyama
- Professor Yasuhiro Haruta
- Professor Gen Uehara
- Associate Professor Annette Bohn
- Professor Ocke-Schwen Bohn [Previous Visitors]