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Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition$
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Linnda R. Caporael, James R. Griesemer, and William C. Wimsatt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019552

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019552.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Developing Scaffolds

Developing Scaffolds

An Introduction

(p.1) Developing Scaffolds
Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition

Linnda R. Caporael

James R. Griesemer

William C. Wimsatt

The MIT Press

This volume makes a substantive contribution to theoretical biology, and more specifically, a human evo-devo. Its aim is to tease out, recognize and classify scaffolding, a “missing concept,” broadly conceived to refer to support for a structure or process, relevant to homeostasis as well as transformation in life processes that would not have been plausible in the absence of scaffolding. The introduction summarizes the complementary perspectives of the three co-editors, which served as an initial integrating framework for exploring a shared understanding of biology, culture and cognition as scaffolded phenomena. These three perspectives focus on reproduction, human group coordination, and generative entrenchment in biology and culture. The contributors to the volume span multiple levels and dimensions of analysis. Their contributions scaffolded the goals of the project, sometimes in disparate ways leading to productive resistance. Among the results of the conceptual experiments of this book, was the discovery of a rich and varied repository of data on scaffolding, particularly for maintenance, growth and development; a broadening of our understanding of development, and an interesting recurrence of similar relationships of scaffolding at different scales of analysis.

Keywords:   Perspectives, Integrating framework, Reproduction, Human group coordination, Generative entrenchement, Scales of analysis

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