Chapter

Darwin and development: Why ontogeny does not recapitulate phylogeny for human concepts

Frank C. Keil and George E. Newman

in The Making of Human Concepts

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199549221
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191724152 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199549221.003.015
Darwin and development: Why ontogeny does not recapitulate phylogeny for human concepts

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This chapter argues that human cognitive development tells us a great deal about what makes human thinking qualitatively unique, but it does so in the same way that current evolutionary biologists explain how organisms are particularly well adapted to niches; that is, the way in which human concepts are specialized, rather than the product of a linear increase in complexity. The chapter outlines a few key developmental transitions that are commonly assumed in human cognitive development and then demonstrates how these ontogenetic distinctions fail to contribute to our understanding of cross-species differences.

Keywords: cognition; cognitive development; conceptual development; ontogeny; phylogeny; evolution

Chapter.  9654 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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