Phylogenetic Factors and Evolutionary Origins of Humanity’s Language and Conception

The essence of communication in nature is discrimination of patterns produced by organic structures, allowing these structures to identify and respond to each other.  Biochemical pathways within organisms perform their reactions when molecular stimulus is of a type and within a triggering threshold such that it functions as an appropriate signal, the basis for processes of interaction within and between cells, modulated by intricate systems of feedback mechanism.  In lifeforms with nervous systems and accompanying perception, communicative signaling relies on recognitions of stimulating interaction by sense organs and neuromaterial tissues, chain reactions both towards and from out of the organism that meet as externalized discharge of bodily behavior, involving substantial levels of conception in the most neurally advanced species such as birds and mammals.

Perceptuality is built around the ability to hone in on aspects of substance as phenomenal attributes, which orients the organism to causality such that it can navigate the world effectively, finding food, reproducing, and doing whatever else is necessary for survival, or in the case of humans, seeking psychologically deeper actualizations as well.  In many species, perceptual capacities are relatively hardwired, resulting in reflexive stimulation, but to the extent that an organism thinks in a humanlike way, it associationally links attributes independent of bodily stimulus, solely within the mind.   Intentionality exerts its association-making capacity to fashion cognitive schemas, figuring out the character of attributes without having to necessarily act on its realizations by way of the physique’s fumbling and prodding of environments.  Absent a well-developed mind, physiological comportments are tailored, as a hybrid modularity, for targeting and picking out modularities amongst Earth’s aggregate mass using increments of physical behavior, with the body only slightly more integrated by conditioning mechanisms than circumstances it is in congress with, being largely one more set of object processes.  But cogitation and especially its facet of conception encompass multitudinous percepts within more unified structuralizations, a sort of mentally generated mapping of body, phenomenality and memory, preempting future experiences such that all of their elements are accurately allotted a proper place prior to discharge of related physical acts.  This shows up intuitively in the difference between common behaviors of an individual ant and a large mammal: the ant cannot potently envisage its environment as a conceptual whole, and so when isolated must spend the majority of its time haltingly exploring its surroundings, while a puma for instance, while probably a more asocial animal in general, can envision attributes of causality as highly compound arrangements, making even its uncertainty less hesitant and more efficient.  An ant pokes around in near-random fashion when on unfamiliar ground, constantly retracing its paths to eventual good fortune, but the puma decisively knows what it wants to do in more predictive manner, with greater behavioral economy.                             

In robustly cognitive species, communication happens as an extension of association-making intentionality, with percept attributes and the accompanying conceptualizings becoming signals of purpose, representing symbolic meanings of and to interacting minds.  For these organisms, elevation of attributes to the status of meaning springs in part from simple awareness of position, the cuing mingled with spatial and temporal sorts of separations between entities such as objects or predator and prey, which require various degrees of mental calculation to negotiate, a facet of consciousness well-represented in vertebrates, and seemingly within most more neuromaterially primitive phylums as well.  There is often also a sense for territorial demarcation, the possession of one’s domain in which certain behaviors by other organisms signal violation or mating interest.  At this level of social consciousness, meaning is shared without yet having ascended to humanlike communality.  The more cognitively advanced animals such as birds and mammals also perceive each other’s bodies and actions as supplementary signs of intention, via postures, gestures, expressions or object emplacements, and these divulging corporealities are a key component of their interactions.  Utterance in particular holds a vital place in projecting intent and the qualities of many experiences, from monkeys engaging in a particular howl at the sight of a predator, to dogs defending their territory with barking, to chimpanzees that compulsively emit vocalizations as they interrelate, to the syntactically complex languages of songbirds and humans.  Sound production as a signaling tool, while effective for transmitting any kind of meaning, does not of course require conception anywhere near the level of human beings to be effective, and crops up in many different ways, which are however divisible into three general categories of subfunction.

Vocal behavior is driven by the impulse to discharge physiological states of arousal.  Chimpanzees provide an example, as the brain regions that activate while they utter sounds are located deep in the limbic system, stimulated more by visceral affect than their creative thoughts.  This is probably typical for species without syntax, as they lack synesthesia that would synchronize numerous brain regions, such as those tied to coordination of the mouth, throat and bodily gesturing as well as loci of higher concepts, all of which must be integrated in order to make the most symbolic and abstract kinds of expression possible, though wherewithal to discern causality as an individual via the associating of attributes may nevertheless be quite developed.            

Sound is of course one of the main mechanisms for eliciting responses from other organisms, a means by which species indicate their readiness to mate, as in a frog’s croaking, or warn each other, for instance a prairie dog’s territorial bark, as well as ward off potential threats, such as a snake’s hiss or a bee’s buzzing.  To the extent that these noises signal intentions, they take on a symbolic character normalizing interactions by providing information about either the natural surroundings, for example a bee’s wiggle in the hive, or cognitive disposition, in the case of a wolf’s growl, a male gorilla’s beating of its chest, or a deer’s stomping of its front hooves.  In dolphins, personal intention is sophisticated enough that their chatter includes proper names, and we all know how humans at the very least participate in elaborate expressiveness consisting of detailed factual content and intricate status significance.

Audibility is also useful for orienting an organism to itself and its environment.  Echolocation in bats and dolphins is an example, how they issue sound to assist in steering around objects and finding food while on the move.  In humans, verbalization seems to enhance cognition, as phenomenal experiences, memories and inferencing often become organized by speech or writing in ways that would not have occurred to an individual without acts of projection, something which happens for many upon merely hearing their own voice say a particular train of thought, in conversation or even only to themselves.

Sociality exacts strong selection pressure on the evolutionary development of sound production, for relationships are one of the main venues where increased complexity proves beneficial, as a supplement to coordinating mental and physical behaviors, also in displaying cognitive prowess, demonstrating intentions via audible posturing, and self-expressing.  As already referenced, we easily intuit that mouths are the most readily available bodily structure by which sound transmittal can be conduced, and vocalization tends to assume a primary role in communicative behavior.  

Even though these social functions of languagelike activity are quite uniform throughout nature, their is much variability in their particular instantiation.  Humpback whale songs have been known to last for half an hour, comprised of complex, repeating themes.  Elephants communicate with subsonic vocalizations that are not audible to humans and which can travel for kilometers.  Birdsong has a complex syntax, and many of the more cognitive bird species can improvisationally mimic sounds made by other organisms.  Dolphins seem to be quick-witted linguistically, employing a rapidfire chatter.  Chimps are one of the more intelligent species in terms of problem-solving adroitness, but as already mentioned, their vocalizing does not appear to be sophisticatedly conceptual.  And lions are highly social animals that do not seem to engage in anything approaching humanlike language, though many of their sounds do have rudimentary meanings.  

Despite the relatively advanced cognition in many species, along with conceptual and emotional lives compatible enough that interspecies bonds are often possible, vocal style varies widely in line with some morphological dynamics.  Larynxlike structures have to be suited for the environmental medium through which sound will flow, typically either water or air, structures of hearing must be tailored to the kinds of sounds characteristic of an organism’s environment and social partners, brains must be able to interpret these sounds conceptually, while species’ bodies and minds of course adapt for effectively interacting with the objects and phenomena their utterances are about.  

All of these animals assign meaning to sound, often in socially refined ways, and many even have some sort of syntax, so what makes our species different?  Basic elements of human language are found to some degree in a large quantity of species, but our combination is a fairly unique convergence of multiple factors: huge vocabularies, as in tens of thousands of words for the average speaker; a complex and flexible syntax which can be molded into innumerable kinds of stylistic form, with much variability along the continuum of terseness or verbosity; concoction of long, inventive chains of inference, seemingly saying more with a fluid orderliness than most species; and the skill to imaginatively construct, reconstruct and deconstruct contexts in a way bolstered by linguistic communication, assimilating mountains of language-encoded information as motivated by a lifetime of hypothetical reasoning in pursuit of confirmation, refutation and integration.  

Even though language is a core feature of human mentality and behavior, it is not easy to comprehend.  Linguistic structure is extremely synthetic, with many intricately interorganized parts – subjects, predicates, objects, syntactically connective words, tense, various shades of formality and informality – which lose a holistic impact that is difficult to introspect when not applied in what we regard as the correct manner.  Yet these subunits are flexible enough that they can be applied to adequately impart meaning in such a huge host of ways that the full range of possibility tenaciously persists in defying categorization.  We can say “she” to convey the concept “he”, “big” can mean “small”, a “hawk” is sometimes a human, syntax can be impeccably proper or flaunt conventions drastically yet stage meaning equally well, and the nature of expression completely transforms by context.  Human language’s vast range of meaningful formulations confounds the effort to comprehensively model its usage, and while this knowledge is probably not in principle out of reach, current theory seems insufficient for tracing modern verbalization in all its technicalities and ambiguities to the selection pressures, mutations and cognitions out of which it began.  Nonetheless, interesting insights of a general kind are accessible from analyzing no more than natural selection and physiology combined with some basic characteristics of linguistic meaning.          

The primary prerequisite for language’s emergence is evolution into communities that are based around conceptualization, as mentioned consisting in organisms recognizing each other as well as assigning meanings to both intentional behaviors and signs of intention, so that symbols of disembodied, purely cognitive purpose are introduced to communicative interactions.  The main evolutionary benefit of conceptual socializing is improved capacity to aptly and swiftly predict behavior, a ubiquitous feature of relationships between organisms with substantive nervous systems, found in probably every bird and mammal species at the least.  Of course expectations can be infracted advantageously via the element of surprise, in turn prompting retributive sorts of actions, vengeance and deterrence, so a dynamic interplay of symbolic conceptualizing, anticipation and exploitation resembling human society pervades nature; however, the quantity of species with complex language is few, while human speech and writing are almost unparalleled and certainly unique.  Why is human-level language ability so rare when concept-based meaning and related communications, adjudicated by what can be regarded as basic social mores, are so widespread?  If we want to figure out language’s presence or absence in the communities of highly cognitive species, we must outline factors distinguishing the most linguistic species from those that are less so or nonlinguistic along the communicative spectrum.  To begin with, structural parameters of concept-based community should be enumerated, for this is the raw material from which linguistic behaviors are evolutionarily formed.  

One main requirement is that a species’ members attain baseline amounts of idle time so recreational thinking is possible, a conceptualizing free association which provides the mechanism for advances in intentional cognition, serving to reorganize brain structure and increase synesthesia in ways specifically directed by and augmentational to the self.  At the most basic level, this requires that a sufficient proportion of caloric content be allocated to the brain versus the rest of the body, a criterion most species meet.  There are exceptions: brachiosaurus, with that comparatively small head perched atop a massive frame, was never going to be an extraordinarily intelligent or linguistic animal, though perfectly well-suited for its milieu.  This bulky dinosaur had an additional handicap in that it probably lumbered about most of the time, grazing all day to sustain a healthy weight under the onerous demands of gravity while impervious to predators, privationed of the selection pressures and physique necessary for fast neural kinetics, in essence cognitive/behavioral quickness, a collection of traits which can be rearranged for the rapid thinking necessary in fluently inferential types of symbolic expression when leisure has reached a surfeit level.  Small songbirds such as canaries by contrast, though probably no more fundamentally intelligent than a brachiosaurus and perhaps less so, move about in an ultraquick manner that is highly selective for optimizing the speed of their hybridized perception and mobility.  When it became possible one fine day for small feathered dinosaurs to sit invulnerably for long periods of time on a tree branch, the intentional self gained more influence, expressing its modicum of libido, and speedy cognitive reflexes together with many additional vectors of formation such as mouth and throat dexterity gradually reconfigured the minds of a select few bird species for intricate, variegated and spitfire vocalization of their concepts.                            

In order for organisms to enter into concept-based community with potential for language, sociality must also simply be desired.  Reproduction often motivates social behavior, as young of numerous species are more secure when the adults rear them in largish groups.  Many birds roost collectively for the sake of progeny, the most dramatic example being Antarctic penguins who would be incapable of seeding the next generation in such a harsh climate without strategically sharing parental duties so as to keep eggs warm.  Survival of adults is frequently facilitated by congregating as well, for as everyone knows, schooling, flocking and herding make prey animals less vulnerable to predators and more likely to find their way while on the move.  Penguins of course must conserve energy in a low calorie environment, so incentive to expend effort on vocalization and surplus thinking is minimal, but when material factors support recreational time, more potent, in some cases conceptually linguistic cognition can result.  Advanced social behavior additionally requires that an animal not be overly territorial, for sharp boundaries drawn between individuals instate less selection pressure for communication, with access to resources restricted such that procuring food is more time-consuming, an effect especially noticeable in nonlinguistic species such as pumas or tigers that have relatively high levels of intelligence but spend much of their time hunting alone.  And finally, an organism’s mental states, particularly its affect, must compel it to want a socialized environment.  This probably makes the difference between birds, which spend much of their time in sizable flocks, and many predatory mammals that can be found operating alone or in groups of only a few individuals.  The mental disposition that draws animals to gather into large, permanent arrangements can be missing, and languagelike vocalization materializes only under conditions of extensively close contact between many familiars, but even then very rarely.

Audible syntax is so uncommon despite the fact that these linguistic species’ circumstances, conceptual faculties and communality can have much resemblance to thousands of others because it calls for massive amounts of finely tuned synesthesia.  Brain regions responsible for thinking, perception of the environment, social perception, affect, as well as movement of the throat, mouth, tongue and diaphragm must all work together, dozens of specialized cognitive centers.  Chimpanzees, though one of the most intelligent species overall, can do no more than separately memorize some hundred symbols and express most of these by gesturing rather than with articulated sounds, for their conceptualizing is neurally unconnected to the musculature and affective states of vocalization.  Parrots are intelligent birds that mimic human phrases, but lack much sense for syntax.  Songbirds can vocalize with a syntax as sophisticated as humans, a rarified level of synesthesia, but conceptualization is less able in many ways due to smaller brain size, so the range of possible meanings lies far below that of human beings, in reasoning adeptness as evinced by inferior technical skill along with a likewise limited richness of figurative and technical idiom.    

Dolphins have brains of similar size to humans with excellent acuity for interpreting the environment, while seeming to share social bondedness and a sense of identity, for researchers note that they call each other by name.  Their chatter also evinces complex syntax, with a hefty array of phonemelike sounds strung together in complicated sequences, up to a mind-boggling couple thousand clicks per second.  Social selection for speechlike communication in close-knit dolphin pods approximates that of human relationships, as does dolphin awareness of intentionality in oneself and others, cognitive keenness, and libidinous proclivity for vocalization.  Highly socialized language is a key aspect of dolphin behavior, and intelligence as displayed by the speed of their conceptual associating is much like Homo sapiens, yet our species arose and developed in a much different environment with a vastly discrepant body plan.  Why then did human speech, the first crude traces of which arose later than a few million years ago as the hominin mouth and throat became gradually reconfigured for articulation, join this exclusive club?                  

In order for a language to contain lots of precise nouns, the creatures which employ it must of course attribute meaning to a large quantity of discrete phenomena, and for organic life this meaning will necessarily derive from the perceived causality of these phenomena as contained in immediate appearances, orientations to bodily form, and relationship to the mind.  Sloths move very slowly and are not one of the most intelligent animals, but gravitation-induced challenges of tree environments sculpted their comportment for clutching with a sure grip, albeit at a relaxed pace, so these species have a sense for structural properties that is similar to humans while lacking comparable conceptualizings of them.  Squirrels are critters with kinetically faster nervous systems tailored for exquisite coordination alongside some technical aptitude in nest building, but their mouths are the libidinous locus of object manipulation and they have small brains, so these animals spend most of their time scrounging around for nuts and other foods to no avail.  Songbirds are quick-reflexed and more social than squirrels, bevying into large flocks and engaging in humanlike linguistic expression while also having the ability to construct nests, but their brains are likewise small, with attribution of conceptual meanings to large quantities of objects and additional phenomena quite limited.  Humpbacks are intelligent and linguistic animals, but as large Baleen whales they have almost no impetus to make fine distinctions between objects in service of prehension, feeding or rapid mobility, so their majestic songs are slow, protracted affairs, more a libidinous self-expression than analytically aligned to concretions.  Dolphins are much faster and socially tight-knit than whales, with a greater amount of their metabolism directed towards fairly large brains, resulting in an unusual level of cleverness as well as high-achieving language ability.  However, dolphin physique and way of life do not require the kind of object manipulation that humans, songbirds or even squirrels perform, being centered around merely seizing food with the mouth.  Echolocation no doubt gives them good discrimination of particulars, which probably coselected for assigning basic conceptual labels to what surrounds them, altogether placing these animals closer to humans than most species on the language spectrum without achieving an escape velocity of technicalized memetics like Homo sapiens.  It is only in human beings that metabolic primacy and size of the brain, an ultrasocial lifestyle, selection pressure for the cognitive quickness necessary in fluid speech, and manipulation of objects in minute ways via the hands all converged such that conceptually-driven expression became part and parcel of a facility with tangible concreteness that is transforming the world technologically.  The question then is how our singular linguistic/conceptual capabilities, provisional of civilization, came together.

The common ancestor of humans, anthropoids and primates was a nonsyntactically vocalizing species of much less intelligence, closer to a small monkey than an ape or our own Homo genus.  Some precursory factors that would template the human mind include enlarged size of the head and body, allowing expansion of the brain as well as safety and competency for recreational thinking in a greater range of environments, an omnivorous, relatively high protein diet which fueled more metabolically demanding cognition, and cooperative socialization channeling increased conceptualizing into communicative behavior.  These dynamics are found in many species besides humans, and of course few of them are anywhere close to linguistic, though most do make meaning-laden utterances.  What separates human morphology from the majority is motor coordination for grasping objects, the outcome of ancestral tree dwelling over the course of many million years.  As the primate lineage that would become anthropoids bulked up in body mass and, excepting the gibbon line of descent, transitioned to a more land-based existence, mutating physiques were gradually streamlined for a division of labor between walking and handling items with the forelimbs.  Humanity’s Homo ancestors must have adapted well to covering long distances while carrying loads, for once bipedalism began to take root, evolution only accentuated it.  Intention, communalism, technical problem-solving, commuting, bodily function in general were oftentimes absorbed in acquiring, manipulating and sorting items with the hands as a matter of necessity, preference and recreationality, so that language would coevolve with both a strong sensibility for tactile structure and propensity to inquisitively scrutinize visual details.

What would become human language began to coalesce as utterance was influenced by the growing collection of closely inspected, intricately known objects, producing discrete sounds we call phonemes which more consistently and then systematically designated particular phenomena.  A plausible hypothesis is that phonetics were molded by facets of underlying protologicality, a linearity of thought that seems common to all especially linguistic species at the least, most likely originating far in the past, perhaps before extinction of the dinosaurs.  Collections of particulars and their specific features recognized by the Homo genus increased in breadth, alongside gains in intelligence which made interaction with environments more technological as hominin minds piloted bodies to engage in form-giving behavior for the sake of crafting and utilizing objects as tools, so that technical insights, conjoined with protologicality, enriched and resolved thought into a uniquely precise and concretized kind of self-expressing introspectiveness.  It is at this point that advanced conception of the Homo genus started to exact selection pressure on vocalization to assume greater structure as the syntactical permutations of grammarlike speech, a period associable with the language-sufficing throat which may have developed sometime between Homo habilis’ origins and the Neanderthals.

So as phenomenal attributes of perception became more and more subject to protologicality of both linear and structuralizing types, the nature of introspection seems to have shifted somewhat from stream of consciousness and towards the self’s deliberate reasoning responsible for managing technical behaviors and social meanings.  Apparitions of the qualitative mind could be better harnessed for practical purposes, with imagination waxing increasingly organized, capacitated to analytically observe, define and modify environments to suit its ends.  Blending of incisive protologicality into phenomenality strengthened the cognitive complexing that conceives relations of cause and effect with independence from anchorage in the directly inspected world, and elements of mind which envision pure possibilities and nonexistent entities began to carve out a cognitive domain of hypothetical concepts via runaway introspective imagining.  Conditions of leisure won by applying surpluses of problem-solving perspicacity synergized with this reflection, providing greater opportunity for the self to ideate unincarnated, unsubstantiated and speculative realities by thinking, sometimes intermingling these conceptualizations with the apparent environment.  Libido was channeled towards creativity and goal-setting behavior by a physiologically imperious consciousness.

At first, upon the origin of the Homo genus and its spread to all corners of the Old World, the burgeoning of this creative intelligence seems to have been directed primarily towards problem-solving for purposes of nutritional needs and expanded range.  Homo species besides our own left less evidence of artistic refinement and deeply symbolic tradition, though Neanderthals appear to have produced rudimentary art and carried out burials, but as early as Homo habilis the remains of camps show steady improvement in the quality of tools and additional artifacts related to food consumption.  The Homo genus’ adaptive radiation conquered every ecosystem encountered with ease, for paleontology of coeval species reveals a large decline in biodiversity, probably due to nonsustainable hunter-gathering and displacement.  Long before Homo sapiens, the genus’ libido was being diverted into a highly intelligent cognition of much plasticity, for in roughly two million years around 9 Homo species had protoculturally adapted well enough to achieve cosmopolitanism in Africa, Asia and Europe, while recovery from the corresponding bottleneck by a small selection of other organisms, likely due to rare endowments of intelligence, size, speed, lethality, remote location or some other means to elude, resulted in much more speciation.  38 species of big cat maintained from six million years to present; wild dog populations rebounded to 36 species from two hundred thousand years ago to modern times; there are 29 species of the four thousand year old wild rabbit worldwide.  Monkeys, which did not occupy as many ecosystems as our genus and may have been decimated by humanesque hunting in some locales along with ice age shrinking of jungle habitat, boast a whopping 260 species, the legacy of a fifty million year past.                  

Highly conceptual, all-purpose hominin speech as utilized in especially communal settings gave rise to two important evolutionary consequences.  First of all and most obviously, the slight deviation of behavioral impetus away from both instinctual drive and attachment to environmental triggers such as predator/prey dynamics, territories, stringent mating rituals or kinship-centric imprinting, and into concept-based communication of imaginative, innovative kinds, rendered protoculture more subordinate to the self.  Slackening of the impositional force exacted by collective norms, which in most species rigidifies cognitive complexes of compulsivity, recognition, intention symbolism and status-related restraint, empowered individual thought processes and identities to sublimate towards freer expressiveness, more reflective crafting of one’s personality, and acts of social architecturing.  Our genus was becoming able to conceptualize affect, motivation and nature beyond the boundaries of long-standing conformity, a more self-evocative experiencing of the ecosystemic, social and personal, which transmuted feeling into desire, reasoning into a stable fund of analytical knowledge, and customs into a forum for psychological actualization.

Second and more speculatively, it seems plausible that various aspects of protologicality began to integrate via synesthesia, leading to new noesis.  Technological applications had reinforced structural thought, the intuiting of causal relationships between objects, and linear thought was likewise heightened by protolinguistic vocalizing, giving this sequential kind of reasoning more palpable particularity, at which time these cognitive aptitudes synthesized into a kind of mentation that is uniquely human compared to other extant primates, what we know as abstract reasoning.  Chimpanzees readily figure out how to assemble complex sets of objects for practical purposes, and songbirds can string together long, highly organized trains of symbolic sounds to convey concepts, but the human mind deeply hybridizes these aptitudes, contextualizing structure such that certain properties we typically ascribe to objects – length, width, depth, size, weight – are conceptually manipulatable by extrapolative inferencing, like the signs and symbols of our infinitely generative verbalizing.  Humans not only recognize actual and potential patterns in phenomena, problem-solve creatively using an acute protological sense for objects, and infer meanings with protological linearity, but go further by inferencing about structure with a flexibility that the rest of Earth’s organisms seem to not even approach, throwing off constraints of perception as bound to matter in a purely conceptual matrixing of the phenomenal, scaling up or down in great detail, analytically grasping how any form of particular or set of particulars leads to, implies or coheres with others in a disembodied, nonfinite dimensionality that is highly operationalizable but which does not actually exist beyond the mind.  This relatively late phase of cognitive evolution made possible both prehistoric and historic construction of epistemes from cumulative experimentation, also the logistical management of civilization, abstract geometry, Platonic-style notions of form, metaphysical and natural philosophy, conceptualizing of the infinite, quantitative theorizing, and ultimately the empiricist rationality of our contemporary age.                                  

What is unequivocally cultural originated with Homo sapiens roughly one hundred to two hundred thousand years ago.  Archaeology of early human settlement displays unmistakable signs of our own enculturated psychology: meticulously designed implements of much variety, ornately decorative art, and artifacts for spiritual ritual, analogous to those of anatomically modern hunter-gatherers as recorded in the documentation of many civilized Westerners.

How exactly humanity’s ultracultural practices evolved is not simple to apprehend, but conjunction of imagining the nonexistent, conceiving objects and phenomena in general within contexts of abstraction, and trajection towards more flexible normalization in societies offers some respectable explanation.  Higher technology can be accounted for as a projection of inventive abstraction into our interactions with the environment, a creative structural inferencing which together with malleability in cultural normalizing countenanced transmission, progressiveness and adaptation of technical customs to a gigantic array of circumstances, eventually modified for the sake of densely populated civilizing.  Spirituality and mystical ritual clearly have their roots in the imaginative and often fantasy-driven interpretation of enigmatic, incomprehensible or uncanny phenomena, spun into traditional myths diverse as human culture itself.  We can understand artistry as taking shape from out of a similar psychical wellspring as technology, being the aesthetic and symbolic dimension of technical functionality.  Blossoming of the human psyche in more permissive, less instinct-governed and hylic-oriented environs contributed at times to inspired, high-achieving states of mind, while also ushering in norm-bending deviancies of motivation and temperament which lead to all kinds of self-destructive and disturbing behaviors even today, what is conventionally adverted as madness or evil.  The human psyche is an amazing entity, difficult to fathom, stretching much deeper and wider than conception alone, but to the extent that the species’ minds have pragmatic objectives of any explicitness, our intention-driven reasoning is foundational in sustaining the long-term direction of an individual’s decision-making and also the most critical factor for any civilized collective’s fate.  Let’s take a closer look at the anatomically modern human thought process as well as its alignment with and impact on psychology and culture.  

A free download of the book Standards for Behavioral Commitments: Philosophy of Humanism, also available for preview below.  Topics covered include chemistry, biology, genetics, neuroscience, epistemology, the history of Western philosophy, cultural evolution, theory of cognition, ethics and much more.

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