The newborn baby cannot develop its own activities; it orients itself towards the mother and tries to anticipate her actions and to share her intentions. This is the origin of the shared intentionality observed only in humans.
communication and cooperation have their phylogenetic origin in the
communication and cooperation of mothers and newborns during the newborns’
helplessness in the first year of life.
starting point of my considerations here is the study by Michael Tomasello on The Origins of Human Communication (German:
Die Ursprünge der menschlichen
Kommunikation Frankfurt/M. 2009). His comments on pointing gestures as the
beginning of communication are convincing.
as the evolutionary beginnings of typically human communication and cooperation
are concerned, however, I have come to different conclusions on the basis of
theoretical considerations. Tomasello describes the phylogenetic origins in Chapter 5.
brain is the biological seat of the mind, the two are therefore not identical
to each other.
Moreover, the mind has its own identity, which must be explored and described. The basic form of the mind or culture arose in a special historical situation. With the mind a new level of existence was born,
characteristics of individuals and social groups arose; characteristics that
can no longer be adequately described with the biological theory framework but
which require the use of humanities or social science theories.
In The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition,
Michael Tomasello drew attention to what, on an evolutionary scale, was a short
period of up to 250,000 years, during which man’s cultural development has
taken place up to this day.
The Canadian Merlin Donald believes he can prove that human culture and brain
have developed together in co-evolution.
The American Michael Tomasello,
a researcher in Leipzig, believes that joint work and target-oriented joint
activities were the decisive impulses on the path to a human culture.
There are thus two exponents
who worked out concepts for the evolution of the human mind: Donald from an
idealistic philosophical perspective and Tomasello from a behavioural
perspective. Both refer to Darwin’s theory of evolution and to the latest scientific
findings on evolution.
Both theories are particularly
interesting and, in many ways, instructive, however neither of them has
received the general recognition that would be comparable to the recognition of
the physical evolution of human beings.