+353-1-416-8900REST OF WORLD
+44-20-3973-8888REST OF WORLD
1-917-300-0470EAST COAST U.S
1-800-526-8630U.S. (TOLL FREE)

PRINTER FRIENDLY

The Tool Instinct. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5186367
  • Book
  • March 2020
  • 232 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
1 of 3
Humans use countless tools and are constantly creating new ones. We are so prone to materiality that the changes we implement in our environment could put our very survival at stake. It has therefore become necessary to question the cognitive origins of this materiality. The Tool Instinct examines this subject by diametrically setting aside the idea that tool use is limited to manual activity. It proposes an original perspective that surpasses a great number of false beliefs regarding the relationship between humans and tools. The author argues that the human tendency to create and use tools relies on our ability (one that may be unique to our species) to generate our own physical problems, thereby resulting in a reasoning that is directed towards our physical world.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
2 of 3

Introduction ix

Chapter 1. The Tool With a Capital T 1

1.1. Defining the Tool: the behavioral reality 2

1.2. Blinded by tools 6

1.3. From analogy to specificities 9

1.4. The select club of animal users 12

1.5. In-defining the Tool: cognitive reality 15

1.5.1. The absence of boundaries between tool use, tool making and construction 15

1.5.2. Tool use: a fragile definition 16

1.6. Conclusion 17

Chapter 2. Instinct 19

2.1. Tools not necessary for survival 19

2.1.1. The necessity hypothesis 19

2.1.2. An intrinsic and non-extrinsic pressure 21

2.1.3. The Tool, useful but not necessary for survival 21

2.2. Digging your own ditches to cross 22

2.2.1. At the root of our own problems 22

2.2.2. The illusion of technological progress 24

2.2.3. Telefantasies 24

2.3. From appetence to instinct 25

2.3.1. On the instinct 25

2.3.2. The hand and the tool: the Baldwin effect 30

2.4. Conclusion 32

Chapter 3. The Myth of Manual Work 35

3.1. Gestum ago, ergo instrumentis munio 35

3.1.1. From popular beliefs to metatheories 35

3.1.2. The manipulation-based approach 39

3.2. The myth of motor programs 42

3.2.1. Empirical data 42

3.2.2. Theoretical and epistemological reflection 43

3.3. Instrumentis munio, ergo gestum ago 50

3.3.1. Tool incorporation and object-object manipulation 50

3.3.2. Primate prehension system: recycled mechanism 52

3.4. Conclusion 56

Chapter 4. A World Without a Technical Solution 59

4.1. The reason for the Tool 59

4.1.1. Apraxia 59

4.1.2. Tool use and mechanical problem solving 61

4.2. The technical transfer 67

4.2.1. Absence of transfer in animals 67

4.2.2. No transfer after brain damage 69

4.3. Beyond manipulation 70

4.3.1. Simple versus complex tools 70

4.3.2. Counterintuition 71

4.4. Mechanical knowledge 72

4.4.1. Inaccuracy and magic 72

4.4.2. Understanding the unexplainable 74

4.5. Technical reasoning and dialectics 76

4.5.1. From essentialism to phenomenology 76

4.5.2. First movement of dialectics: from problem to solution 77

4.5.3. Second movement of dialectics: from solution to problem 79

4.5.4. Analogy and causality 79

4.6. Reasoning and dynamism 80

4.6.1. Toward the ideomotor approach 80

4.6.2. Diagnosis, adjustment and fixing 83

4.7. Conclusion 87

Chapter 5. Reasoning versus Planning 89

5.1. Executive functions 89

5.1.1. Definitions 89

5.1.2. What about the role of executive functions? 91

5.1.3. What can we do without executive functions? 92

5.2. Reasoning versus planning 94

5.2.1. The amalgam 94

5.2.2. Planning and reasoning: two orthogonal capacities 95

5.2.3. Empirical evidence from neuropsychology 98

5.2.4. Action disorganization syndrome 99

5.3. From routine schemas to recursivity 101

5.3.1. Generated schemas, not stored 101

5.3.2. Recursivity 102

5.4. Cognitive archaeology: new perspectives 104

5.4.1. The illusion of complexity as a subject of study 104

5.4.2. No technical planning without reasoning 107

5.4.3. Recycling of executive functions 109

5.5. Using one tool to create another 111

5.5.1. Sequential tool use 111

5.5.2. Sequence versus recursivity 112

5.6. Conclusion 113

Chapter 6. Tool Disorganization 115

6.1. Tools in stock 115

6.1.1. Future planning 116

6.1.2. Episodic memory: recycled mechanism 117

6.1.3. Semantic reasoning: rupture mechanism 121

6.2. From use to consumption 122

6.2.1. Accumulation behavior 122

6.2.2. Excessive accumulation 123

6.3. Tool making: toward crafts 126

6.3.1. Making, manufacture and crafting 126

6.3.2. Motor simulation and decision making: recycled mechanisms 127

6.4. Toolbox and uses 128

6.4.1. A well-defined repertoire 128

6.4.2. Functional flexibility 129

6.4.3. Functional fixedness 132

6.5. Conclusion 133

Chapter 7. Between Fascination and Shaping 135

7.1. From instinct to technical stigmergy 135

7.1.1. Technical stigmergy 135

7.1.2. There’s always a price to pay 137

7.2. The distance between the maker and the user 139

7.2.1. Cognitive step 1: mental making 140

7.2.2. Cognitive step 2: use 141

7.3. Cumulative technological culture 144

7.3.1. From individual learning... 145

7.3.2. ...to social learning 145

7.3.3. Forms of social learning 146

7.3.4. Culture and cumulative technological culture 149

7.3.5. The shared intentionality hypothesis 150

7.3.6. Limitations of the shared intentionality hypothesis 152

7.3.7. Roles of technical reasoning and semantic reasoning 153

7.3.8. Theory of the mind and symbolic language: recycled mechanisms 158

7.4. Conclusion 160

Conclusion 161

References 177

Index 195

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
3 of 3
François Osiurak
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
Adroll
adroll