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Michael Tomasellos problem that he wants to solve is to explain difference between humans and other primates in evolutionary closeness that allows humans to be radically different from non-human primates Tomasello begins with the premise that humans are evolutionary close to other primates in two ways 2 Firstly the evolutionary change Tomasello seeks occurred in the last 200000 to 40000 years based on dating of Homo sapiens This time is considered to be very short when compared to millions of years of evolution Secondly the genetic makeup of humans is nearly 99 similar to chimpanzees This notes that little has changed between humans and other primates yet humans live such different lives The crux of the problem now becomes apparent Too little time has passed and too little has changed genetically to explain the huge difference seen between humans and other primates Tomasello arrives at the conclusion that the huge difference is the result of a small evolutionary change the ability of individual organisms to understand conspecifics as beings like themselves who have intentional and mental lives like their own 5 The intentional understanding allows a human to learn through its conspecifics through recognition of the conspecifics feelings and attitudes This intentionality factors into the role of communication Non-intentional animals communicate in an effort to change the physical world The purpose is to make imperative statements only and not to communicate with conspecifics However an intentional animal communicates knowing that conspecifics can process the communication and respond Instead of making just imperative statements intentional animals can make declarative statements as well as imperatives As a result of this evolutionary change Tomasello reasons that new cognitive skills developed 2 First humans began to use tools eventually progressing to modern day manufacturing Next people started to communicate with symbols leading to written and spoken language Last social practices and institutions were created extending to organized religion and government These creations did not happen at one instance
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