Merlin Donald speaks a lot about the network and the necessity to overcome the fixation on the individual.

Uru Island, Village Square, Lake Titicaca, Peru
Uru Island, Village Square, Lake Titicaca, Peru

But for him the network is objectively connected to the level of human culture:

With children, the acquisition of symbolic skills progresses from the outside to the inside. Therefore, their evolutionary development must have been in the same direction. Symbolic thinking and language are, by their very nature, phenomena that are founded in networks.

We therefore cannot explain their existence on the basis of the model of the solipsistically encapsulated individual. A paradigm shift is required. It needs to leave behind the prevailing theories of human evolution, according to which language has developed in the closed shell of the brain, that is, from the inside out. (p. 264)

Donald recognised that the scientific view of the individual or a group of individuals is insufficient and that in humans, the relationships between the individual group members are absolutely crucial.

Unfortunately, he fails to make this realisation fruitful for his subsequent elaborations but rather continues in rhetorical squabbles posed against thinking in individuals and for the network, which, in the end, is not individualised.

Donald overlooks the fact that the network initially serves only to expand the brain and precedes the spirit and culture in terms of time and substance.

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