This book is the end result of an interdisciplinary project organized by the University of Sheffield. They selected a distinguished group of scientists and philosophers and brought them together for a series of workshops and a final conference. The intention was to kindle some interdisciplinary fire among these disparate scholars. Unfortunately, interdisciplinary efforts such as this suffer from a terrible law of diminishing returns: the value of the end result is inversely proportional to the number of scholars multiplied by the heterogeneity of their disciplines. In other words, you can get good results by getting together a lot of scholars from closely similar backgrounds, or just a few scholars from disparate backgrounds, but otherwise, you’re doomed to failure. There is no evidence in the chapters that anybody paid much attention to anybody else in the workshops. The book has thirteen chapters presenting thirteen independent and unconnected approaches to the problems of the evolution of human cognition.
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