Knapping in the Dark: Stone Tools and a Theory of Mind

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

Abstract

Understanding the cognitive abilities of our hominin ancestors remains challenging. Recent years have seen many advances, especially new fossil discoveries and the Paleogenetic data that has illuminated the mosaic nature of past hominin interactions across multiple human species. However, the primary route to accessing the behavioral and cognitive worlds of our hominin ancestors still remains firmly rooted in the archaeological record, particularly stone tools, the direct products of hominin actions grounded in the physical, social, and cognitive worlds occupied by the knappers. A theory of mind has long been considered a key component of the human condition, linked to both language and the development of abstract thought. There must therefore be a point (or perhaps multiple points) in our evolutionary history when hominins gained a theory of mind. This ability should, in turn, be reflected in the archaeological record. To date, however, only limited attempts have been made to correlate the two. This paper thus explores the relationship between the various stone tool traditions and theory of mind.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSqueezing Minds from Stones: Cognitive Archaeology and the Evolution of the Human Mind
EditorsF.L. Coolidge, K.A. Overman
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018

Fingerprint

Knapping
Theory of Mind
Stone Tools
Archaeological Record
Ancestors
History
Evolutionary
Human Condition
Cognitive Ability
Fossil
Interaction
Physical
Language
Abstract Thought
Route

Keywords

  • Theory of mind
  • lithic technologies
  • cognitive evolution
  • Social Brain Hypothesis
  • orders of intentionality
  • Identity Model

Cite this

Cole, J. (Accepted/In press). Knapping in the Dark: Stone Tools and a Theory of Mind. In F. L. Coolidge, & K. A. Overman (Eds.), Squeezing Minds from Stones: Cognitive Archaeology and the Evolution of the Human Mind New York.
Cole, James. / Knapping in the Dark: Stone Tools and a Theory of Mind. Squeezing Minds from Stones: Cognitive Archaeology and the Evolution of the Human Mind. editor / F.L. Coolidge ; K.A. Overman. New York, 2018.
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Cole, J 2018, Knapping in the Dark: Stone Tools and a Theory of Mind. in FL Coolidge & KA Overman (eds), Squeezing Minds from Stones: Cognitive Archaeology and the Evolution of the Human Mind. New York.

Knapping in the Dark: Stone Tools and a Theory of Mind. / Cole, James.

Squeezing Minds from Stones: Cognitive Archaeology and the Evolution of the Human Mind. ed. / F.L. Coolidge; K.A. Overman. New York, 2018.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

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AB - Understanding the cognitive abilities of our hominin ancestors remains challenging. Recent years have seen many advances, especially new fossil discoveries and the Paleogenetic data that has illuminated the mosaic nature of past hominin interactions across multiple human species. However, the primary route to accessing the behavioral and cognitive worlds of our hominin ancestors still remains firmly rooted in the archaeological record, particularly stone tools, the direct products of hominin actions grounded in the physical, social, and cognitive worlds occupied by the knappers. A theory of mind has long been considered a key component of the human condition, linked to both language and the development of abstract thought. There must therefore be a point (or perhaps multiple points) in our evolutionary history when hominins gained a theory of mind. This ability should, in turn, be reflected in the archaeological record. To date, however, only limited attempts have been made to correlate the two. This paper thus explores the relationship between the various stone tool traditions and theory of mind.

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KW - Identity Model

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Cole J. Knapping in the Dark: Stone Tools and a Theory of Mind. In Coolidge FL, Overman KA, editors, Squeezing Minds from Stones: Cognitive Archaeology and the Evolution of the Human Mind. New York. 2018