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Demonstration and pantomime in the evolution of teaching

Gärdenfors, Peter LU (2017) In Frontiers in Psychology 8(MAR).
Abstract

Donald proposes that early Homo evolved mimesis as a new form of cognition. This article investigates the mimesis hypothesis in relation to the evolution of teaching. The fundamental capacities that distinguish hominin teaching from that of other animals are demonstration and pantomime. A conceptual analysis of the instructional and communicative functions of demonstration and pantomime is presented. Archaeological evidence that demonstration was used for transmitting the Oldowan technology is summarized. It is argued that pantomime develops out of demonstration so that the primary objective of pantomime is that the onlooker learns the motoric patterns shown in the pantomime. The communicative use of pantomime is judged to be secondary.... (More)

Donald proposes that early Homo evolved mimesis as a new form of cognition. This article investigates the mimesis hypothesis in relation to the evolution of teaching. The fundamental capacities that distinguish hominin teaching from that of other animals are demonstration and pantomime. A conceptual analysis of the instructional and communicative functions of demonstration and pantomime is presented. Archaeological evidence that demonstration was used for transmitting the Oldowan technology is summarized. It is argued that pantomime develops out of demonstration so that the primary objective of pantomime is that the onlooker learns the motoric patterns shown in the pantomime. The communicative use of pantomime is judged to be secondary. This use of pantomime is also contrasted with other forms of gestures. A key feature of the analysis is that the meaning of a pantomime is characterized by the force patterns of the movements. These force patterns form the core of a model of the cognitive mechanism behind pantomime. Finally, the role of pantomime in the evolution of language is also discussed.

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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Demonstration, Evolution of language, Gesture, Mental simulation, Mimesis, Pantomime, Teaching
in
Frontiers in Psychology
volume
8
issue
MAR
publisher
Frontiers
external identifiers
  • scopus:85017002416
ISSN
1664-1078
DOI
10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00415
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4c790231-d5b2-4997-92f1-265397a0dd45
date added to LUP
2017-05-03 08:26:48
date last changed
2017-06-30 16:02:45
@article{4c790231-d5b2-4997-92f1-265397a0dd45,
  abstract     = {<p>Donald proposes that early Homo evolved mimesis as a new form of cognition. This article investigates the mimesis hypothesis in relation to the evolution of teaching. The fundamental capacities that distinguish hominin teaching from that of other animals are demonstration and pantomime. A conceptual analysis of the instructional and communicative functions of demonstration and pantomime is presented. Archaeological evidence that demonstration was used for transmitting the Oldowan technology is summarized. It is argued that pantomime develops out of demonstration so that the primary objective of pantomime is that the onlooker learns the motoric patterns shown in the pantomime. The communicative use of pantomime is judged to be secondary. This use of pantomime is also contrasted with other forms of gestures. A key feature of the analysis is that the meaning of a pantomime is characterized by the force patterns of the movements. These force patterns form the core of a model of the cognitive mechanism behind pantomime. Finally, the role of pantomime in the evolution of language is also discussed.</p>},
  articleno    = {415},
  author       = {Gärdenfors, Peter},
  issn         = {1664-1078},
  keyword      = {Demonstration,Evolution of language,Gesture,Mental simulation,Mimesis,Pantomime,Teaching},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  number       = {MAR},
  publisher    = {Frontiers},
  series       = {Frontiers in Psychology},
  title        = {Demonstration and pantomime in the evolution of teaching},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00415},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2017},
}