Cover: The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition, from Harvard University PressCover: The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition in PAPERBACK

The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$35.00 • £28.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674005822

Publication Date: 03/02/2001

Short

256 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

8 line illustrations, 3 tables

World

In The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition…[Tomasello] argues that what makes human beings unique is that they are so good at learning from one another and that they create new, original things with what they learn.—Helen Epstein, Lingua Franca

Students of primate behavior are one of several groups who should read this important book. It spells out forcefully what appears to make human development so distinctive, and does so from the perspective of an expert in language acquisition who has also devoted much time to comparative work with apes. It is strong medicine for anybody in danger of romanticizing the similarity of ape to child. Developmental psychologists will find here a well-articulated account of the ontogeny of cultural learning, which challenges alternative accounts from the vantage point of extensive research.—Andrew Whiten, Nature

A powerful and coherent synthesis, and the best formulation of cultural psychology we’ve yet had.—Jerome Bruner, New York University

Tomasello is one of the very few scholars who works at the intersection of the phylogenetic, cultural–historical, and ontogenetic contributions to development. His studies linking non-human primate development to the development of human infants are exciting and compelling. He has done the study of human development a great service with the publication of this book.—Michael Cole, University of California at San Diego

A much needed book that covers a broad territory with both clarity and authority. Having spent much of his career comparing human and nonhuman primate cognition, Michael Tomasello makes the case for a social developmental foundation of the unique capacities of the human primate—language, complex cognition, and culture. His ontogenetic ‘ratchet hypothesis’ is both simple and provocative. It will be welcomed—and argued about—by a wide audience.—Katherine Nelson, City University of New York

Awards & Accolades

  • 2001 William James Book Award, Division 1 of the American Psychological Association
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