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Selected Books by Edmund Blair Bolles

  • Galileo's Commandment: 2500 Years of Great Science Writing
  • The Ice Finders: How a Poet, a Professor, and a Politician Discovered the Ice Age
  • Einstein Defiant: Genius vs Genius in the Quantum Revolution

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Giorgio Marchetti

It seems to me that the elements of cooperation, present in people and absent in animals, which Hauser has identified have something in common: the capacity to handle time experiences, that is, the capacity to manage one’s activities (in general: physical, mental, social, etc.) according to and in relation to time experiences, to construct one’s experiences on a time basis (to articulate them on a time basis), to have the idea of “future”, and so on.

This implies, for example, being able to postpone one’s activity until something happens (a capacity necessary to be patient, to cooperate reciprocally on large scale, to resist impulses), to use one’s capacity to experience and measure durations in order to perform activities (a capacity necessary to inflict a penalty: for instance, 12 months of jail), etc. Apparently, imitation seems not to be affected by the capacity to handle time experiences: but if you think a moment, you can realize that imitation implies the capacity to coordinate actions, gestures, operations, etc, which in turn can take place only if you can manage your time or time in general.

In its turn, the capacity to handle time experiences seems to imply a very powerful and articulated memory system.

All this reminds me of what Bolles reported some posts ago concerning Gardenfors’ hypothesis about the “break with the here and now” and the capacity “to mentally represent future events”.

Giorgio Marchetti

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