metaphor's role in human evolution

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Ward Cunningham

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Jun 6, 2011, 12:27:39 AM6/6/11
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http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/papers/PNAS-2010-Pinker-8993-9.pdf

Friends -- In the above, Pinker suggests how two simple mechanisms could account for the coevolution of intelligence,
sociality, and language. From the abstract, he says:

"The second hypothesis is that humans possess an ability of metaphorical abstraction, which allows them to coopt faculties that originally evolved for physical problem-solving and social coordination, apply them to abstract subject matter, and combine them productively."

I found it a great read and am happy to see he cites papers I have found provocative, especially [62]. Of course I think programming computers to be one of the most profound extensions of the human intellect. Careful incorporation of metaphor then becomes our responsibility.

Best regards. -- Ward

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