This book explores the evolution of the mental competence for self-reflection: why it evolved, under what selection pressures, in what environments, out of what precursors, and with what mental resources. Integrating evolutionary, psychological, and philosophical perspectives, Radu J. Bogdan argues that the competence for self-reflection, uniquely human and initially autobiographical, evolved under strong and persistent sociocultural and political (collaborative and competitive) pressures on the developing minds of older children and later adults. Self-reflection originated in a basic propensity of the human brain to rehearse anticipatively mental states, speech acts, actions, and states of the world in order to service one's elaborate goal policies. These goal policies integrate offline representations of one's own mental states and actions and those of others in order to handle the challenges of a complex and dynamic sociopolitical and sociocultural life, calling for an adaptive intramental self-regulation: that intramental adaptation is self-reflection.
David F. Bjorklund - Professor of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, USA, and Vice President, Evolution Institute
Nicholas Humphrey - Emeritus Professor of Psychology, London School of Economics, and Visiting Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, UK
David Olson - Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Toronto, Canada
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