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The Descent of MindPsychological Perspectives on Hominid Evolution$
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Michael Corballis and Stephen E. G. Lea

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780192632593

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192632593.001.0001

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The background to hominid intelligence

The background to hominid intelligence

(p.16) 2 The background to hominid intelligence
The Descent of Mind

Stephen E. G. Lea

Oxford University Press

Among the animal species that share some kind of common ancestor with humans there are many, in addition to the four species of great ape that apparently also share some kind of intelligence. Such shared intelligence might be due to common descent in some; in others it might be due to convergence — common evolutionary processes operating on a common inheritance, but independently. The argument of this chapter is that understanding intelligence in these more remote relatives has something to contribute to the understanding of the hominid mind. It outlines a few basic principles of modern evolutionary theory. It also considers what might form the common cognitive inheritance of all mammals, and therefore the foundation on which the extraordinary cognitive evolution of the primates must have been built. The chapter considers where else in the animal kingdom human-like intelligence can be found, so that we can consider what selective pressures might have been critical in recent hominid evolution.

Keywords:   intelligence, descent, hominid, mind, modern evolutionary theory, cognitive inheritance, cognitive evolution, animal kingdom, human-like intelligence, evolution

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