The First Idea: How Symbols, Language and Intelligence Evolved from Our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans

By Mazeh, Doron | The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, October 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

The First Idea: How Symbols, Language and Intelligence Evolved from Our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans


Mazeh, Doron, The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences


The First Idea: How symbols, language and intelligence evolved from our primate ancestors to modern humans By Stanley I. Greenspan, MD, and Stuart G. Shanker, DPhil Cambridge, Mass., Da Capo Press, 2004, 504 pp. ISBN: 0306814498 Price: $29

Greenspan and Shanker address the monumental question of the origin of the first idea: how symbols, language and intelligence evolved from our primate ancestors. They synthesize a common theory of human development through a framework called functional/emotional development. They explain the evolution of symbolic knowledge in humans as a result of cultural learning with a crucial role assigned to emotions rather than genetic transmission. The authors of this book distance themselves from the modern generative theory of Chomsky and Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Greenspan and Shanker have their own view of human development, a view that is based on fundamental notions like emotions and cultural practices. They believe that along with increased emotional communication there is an increase in symbolic thinking. The "engine of evolution," they advocate, is not found in the Darwinian principles of transmission of genetic information and survival of the fittest, but lies instead in culturally transmitted caregiving practices. They postulate that in order to develop symbols we must transform our basic emotions into a series of succeedingly more complex emotional signals. This begins in early life during an unusually long practice period and leads to evolvement of symbols, language and a variety of complex emotional and social skills. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The First Idea: How Symbols, Language and Intelligence Evolved from Our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.