Renewing the link between cognitive archeology and cognitive science

Thornton, Chris (2012) Renewing the link between cognitive archeology and cognitive science. Journal of Archaeological Science, 39 (7). pp. 2036-2041. ISSN 0305-4403

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In cognitive archeology, theories of cognition are used to guide interpretation of archeological evidence. This process provides useful feedback on the theories themselves. The attempt to accommodate archeological data helps shape ideas about how human cognition has evolved and thus—by extension—how the modern form functions. But the implications that archeology has for cognitive science particularly relate to traditional proposals from the field involving modular decomposition, symbolic thought and the mediating role of language. There is a need to make a connection with more recent approaches, which more strongly emphasize information, probabilistic reasoning and exploitation of embodiment. Proposals from cognitive archeology, in which evolution of cognition is seen to involve a transition to symbolic thought need to be realigned with theories from cognitive science that no longer give symbolic reasoning a central role. The present paper develops an informational approach, in which the transition is understood to involve cumulative development of information-rich generalizations.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Cognitive archeology; Cognitive science; Symbolic thought; Generalization; Information
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology > QH0359 Evolution
Depositing User: Chris Thornton
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2012 09:48
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 20:29

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