Chapter

The rise of the metamind

Thomas Suddendorf

in The Descent of Mind

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780192632593
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191670497 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192632593.003.0012
The rise of the metamind

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This chapter discusses the rise of the metamind. It is not a basic starting block, but the product of a long process of cognitive evolution. The fundamental problem to be addressed is how, from a time when there was no consciousness on Earth, the mind developed to the state of being capable of the phenomenological experiences today. The chapter maintains that it was the evolution of the mind that takes prime responsibility for the extraordinary story of the human species. It outlines the natural history of the human mind, with special reference to the emergence of representational skills. It extends and updates J. Perner's developmental model and applies it to evolution. From this model one can derive various testable hypotheses about children's development and about other animals' capacities. It shows that there is a general fit to the data and that this model is very useful for understanding the basic progression in the evolution of the hominid mind.

Keywords: metamind; evolution; mind; human species; representational skills; J. Perner; children; development; hominid

Chapter.  23115 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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