Social Brain, Distributed Mind

Hardcover | May 25, 2010

EditorRobin Dunbar, Clive Gamble, John Gowlett

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To understand who we are and why we are, we need to understand both modern humans and the ancestral stages that brought us to this point. The core to that story has been the role of evolving cognition - the social brain - in mediating the changes in behaviour that we see in the archaeologicalrecord. This volume brings together two powerful approaches - the social brain hypothesis and the concept of the distributed mind. The volume compares perspectives on these two approaches from a range of disciplines, including archaeology, psychology, philosophy, sociology and the cognitive and evolutionarysciences. A particular focus is on the role that material culture plays as a scaffold for distributed cognition, and how almost three million years of artefact and tool uses provides the data for tracing key changes in areas such as language, technology, kinship, music, social networks and the politics oflocal, everyday interaction in small-world societies. A second focus is on how, during the course of hominin evolution, increasingly large spatially distributed communities created stresses that threatened social cohesion. This volume offers the possibility of new insights into the evolution of human cognition and social lives that will further our understanding of the relationship between mind and world.

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To understand who we are and why we are, we need to understand both modern humans and the ancestral stages that brought us to this point. The core to that story has been the role of evolving cognition - the social brain - in mediating the changes in behaviour that we see in the archaeologicalrecord. This volume brings together two powe...

Robin Dunbar is Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford and Fellow of the British Academy. Clive Gamble is Professor of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London and Fellow of the British Academy. John Gowlett is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Liverpool.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:May 25, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0197264522

ISBN - 13:9780197264522

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Table of Contents

Framing the Issues: Evolution of the Social Brain1. Robin Dunbar, Clive Gamble, and John Gowlett: The Social Brain and its Distributed Mind2. Clive Gamble: Technologies of Separation and the Evolution of Social Extension3. Yonas Beyene: Herto Brains and Minds: Behaviour of Early Homo Sapiens from the Middle Awash, EthiopiaThe Nature of Network: Bonds of Sociality4. Julia Lehmann, Katherine Andrews, and Robin Dunbar: Social Complexity and the Importance of Indirect Relationships: Social Networks in Primates5. Robert Layton and Sean O'Hara: Fission-Fusion Behaviour in Chimpanzees and Hunter-Gatherers6. Sam Roberts: Constraints on Social Networks7. Anna Wallette: Social Networks and Community in the Viking AgeEvolving Bonds of Sociality8. Robin Dunbar: Deacon's Dilemma: the Problem of Pairbonding in Human Evolution9. Julie Hui and Terrence Deacon: The Evolution of Altruism via Social Addiction10. Dwight Read: From Experiential-Based to Relational-Based forms of Social Organization: a Major Transition in the Evolution of Homo Sapiens11. Carl Knappett: Networks and the Evolution of Socio-Material DifferentiationThe Reach of the Brain: Modern Humans and Distributed Minds12. Alan Barnard: When Individuals Do Not Stop at the Skin13. Holly Arrow: Cliques, Coalitions, Comrades, and Colleagues: Sources of Cohesion in Groups14. Richard Sosis: Evolutionary Signalling Theory and Religion: Recent Advances and Future Directions15. Paul Connerton: Some Functions of Collective Forgetting16. Mark Rowlands: Consciousness and CultureTesting the Past: Archaeology and the Social Brain in Past Action17. John Gowlett: Firing up the Intellect18. Lawrence Barham: Multi-Tasking and the Social Brain in Middle Pleistocene Africa19. Matt Grove: The Archaeology of Group Size20. John Chapman: Fragmenting Hominins and the Presencing of Early Palaeolithic Social Worlds21. Fiona Coward: Small Worlds, Material Culture and Ancient Near Eastern Social Networks22. Steve Mithen: Brain, Mind and Material Culture in Evolutionary Perspective