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Thought in a Hostile World: The Evolution of Human Cognition

ISBN: 978-0-631-18887-2
280 pages
September 2003, Wiley-Blackwell
Thought in a Hostile World: The Evolution of Human Cognition (0631188878) cover image
WINNER OF THE 2004 LAKATOS AWARD!

Thought in a Hostile World is an exploration of the evolution of cognition, especially human cognition, by one of today's foremost philosophers of biology and of mind.


  • Featuresan exploration of the evolution of human cognition.
  • Written by one of today’s foremost philosophers of mind and language.
  • Presents a set of analytic tools for thinking about cognition and its evolution.
  • Offers a critique of nativist, modular versions of evolutionary psychology, rejecting the example of language as a model for thinking about human cognitive capacities.
  • Applies to the areas of cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and evolutionary psychology.
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Preface.

Part I: Assembling Intentionality:.

1. Evolutionary Naturalism.

2. Detection Systems.

3. Fuels For Success.

4. Fuels For Success: The Social Intelligence Hypothesis.

5. The Descent Of Preference.

Part II: Not Just Another Species Of Large Mammal:.

6. Reconstructing Hominid Evolution.

7. The Co-Operation Explosion.

8. The Self-Made Species.

9. Heterogeneous Environments And Variable Response.

Part III: The Fate Of The Folk:.

10. The Massive Modularity Hypothesis.

11. Interpreting Other Agents.

Index
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Kim Sterelny is Professor of Philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington and at the Research School of Social Science at the Australian National University. He is the author of The Representational Theory of Mind (Blackwell, 1990) and the co-author, with Michael Devitt, of Language and Reality (second edition, 1999) and, with Paul Griffiths, Sex and Death: An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology (1999).
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  • Featuresan exploration of the evolution of human cognition.
  • Written by one of today’s foremost philosophers of mind and language.
  • Presents a set of analytic tools for thinking about cognition and its evolution.
  • Offers a critique of nativist, modular versions of evolutionary psychology, rejecting the example of language as a model for thinking about human cognitive capacities.
  • Applies to the areas of cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and evolutionary psychology.
See More
"Written with both clarity and rigor, Thought in a Hostile World is a richly informed and sophisticated account of the evolution of complex cognition. Sterelny's arguments appeal, not so much because they reinforce our preconceptions – on the contrary, we are frequently challenged – but rather because they are informed, well-reasoned, and leave us with plenty to think about. Sterelny's book could aptly be renamed Clear Thought in a Muddled World and evolutionary psychologists, in particular, would benefit from reading it." Kevin N. Laland, University of St. Andrews <!--end-->

"This book is a godsend for anyone wanting to understand the evolution of human cognition without buying into the wholesale modularism of recent evolutionary psychology. Densely, but elegantly, written and replete with fascinating empirical detail, this book represents a major advance in the philosophical understanding of human cognitive evolution." Fiona Cowie, California Institute of Technology

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