Cognition and symbolism in human evolution

The issue of the cognitive evolution of hominin species, much neglected or misinterpreted by archaeology, is considered in a philosophical and scientific perspective in this course. Human constructs of reality, it is proposed, have been created since self-referential consciousness began governing human thought. The most promising potential sources of information about the intellectual advances heralding human consciousness are very early intentional markings and other manifestations of culturally mediated human awareness. They are presented in this course. Beads, for instance, are likely to be key markers of early human constructs of the self.

Cultural Evolution: Mind-Culture Co-Evolution

This is a course in the evolution of human culture from its origins up to the present. The emphasis will be on what happens in the mind, because that is the locus of culture. The course presupposes a general knowledge of human history and culture and a relatively high level of sophistication in thinking about such topics. Lecture material will consist of various articles and book chapters written either individually or jointly by me and the late David G. Hays.