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Landscape of the MindHuman Evolution and the Archaeology of Thought$
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John Hoffecker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231147040

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231147040.001.0001

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Daydreams of the Lower Paleolithic

Daydreams of the Lower Paleolithic

Chapter:
(p.33) 2 Daydreams of the Lower Paleolithic
Source:
Landscape of the Mind
Author(s):

John F. Hoffecker

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231147040.003.0002

This chapter examines the evolutionary biology of the human mind. The earliest known examples of external thought emerged approximately 1.5 million years ago in the form of carved stone objects called bifaces. These tools achieved an externalized mental representation status since they bear little resemblance to the natural object from which they were made, having been transformed by human hands according to a certain mental template. The appearance of bifaces indicates the emergence of the proto-mind, since during this time humans began to find themselves in a landscape populated by thoughts in an extremely literal sense. Three observations were made on the workings of the proto-mind: first, it is capable of thinking beyond the internal; second, it is lacking of what Noam Chomsky calls the “core property” of language; and finally, it is a collective enterprise.

Keywords:   evolutionary biology, human mind, mental representation, bifaces, proto-mind, intentionality, language

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