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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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Mindscapes of the Postglacial Epoch

Mindscapes of the Postglacial Epoch

(p.138) 5 Mindscapes of the Postglacial Epoch
Landscape of the Mind

John F. Hoffecker

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes the development of the super-brain, which brought forth a new phenomenon that functions above the level of an individual organism's brain. The advancement of language and other forms of symbolic communication allowed for the integration of brains within a social group, essentially increasing the computational and recursive power of human thought. An increase in population and settlement size was a consequence of this redesigned human. The super-brain created an alternative ecological place for the human organism: a place subject to recurrent change that allows for potentially unlimited growth. With the emergence of large populations, humans began to redesign the landscape as well as themselves; these recreated landscapes reflected not the evolved patterns of organic life, but the peculiar forms of the mind.

Keywords:   super-brain, language, symbolic communication, human thought, human organism

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