The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
by Michael Tomasello
Tomasello argues that the only possible solution to the puzzle of this explosion in creativity, the only biological mechanism that could have brought about these changes in such a short period of time, is a new capacity for social and cultural transmission. In other words, what he’s saying is that there is a new, uniquely powerful way of social learning. What is unique about our form of social learning is that we are able to imitate and that we are able to learn things co-operatively – whilst animals are not able to think about what their fellows are doing or what they themselves are doing.
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