Cognitive Gadgets: The Cultural Evolution of Thinking
Harvard University Press
As well as physical machines, human beings have created what Cecilia Heyes calls “mental machines”, which are “embodied in our nervous systems” and “enable our minds to go further, faster, and in different directions than the minds of any other animals”. Examples include causal understanding, episodic memory, imitation and the ability to read other people’s minds. In setting out her theory of “cultural evolutionary psychology”, Heyes explains the implications for what it means to be human – and why “human minds are more agile, but also more fragile, than was previously thought”.