Why Imitation Is at the Heart of Being Human
Imitating and performing impractical actions is the key to learning complex cultural skills.
Over-imitation enables us to maintain a distinctively human culture.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Wonder is said to be a childish emotion. However, as adults, we experience it when gaping at something unexpectedly spectacular.
Adam Smith, an 18th-century moral philosopher, describes wond...
The bodily symptoms of this strange appearance point to three dimensions:
At the mild end of this emotion, we talk about things being marvelous. More intense emotions might be described as astonishing. The extreme of this experiences is met with expressions of awe.
Despite the advances in science over the past century, our understanding of nature is still limited. Scientists still don't know what the vast majority of the universe is made up of or how cons...
"Mysterian" thinkers give an important role to biological arguments and analogies.
Late philosopher Jerry Fodor argued that there are bound to be thoughts we are unable to think. Similarly, philosopher Colin McGinn claimed that all minds suffer from "cognitive closure" about particular problems. Just as animals will never understand prime numbers, so human brains are unable to consider some of the world's wonders.
Mysterians present the question of cognitive limits in fixed terms: either we can solve a problem, or we will never be able to.
A possibility that eludes mysterians is one of slowly diminishing returns. We keep slowing down, even as we exert more effort, and there is no point where progress becomes impossible.
The baby-advice industry targets people at their most vulnerable - at the start of the weightiest responsibility of their lives - and suggests that they have some information that will ensure the f...