Działalność narzędziowa a „rozumność” i „przedrozumność” człowieka
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Broadly defined animal and human tool-oriented activities constitute an issue which appears to have an impact on how one understands the specificity of humanity as such. Up to one point in the history of European culture, all tool-making activities were treated as a typically and “monopolistically” human feature, and the definition “human = toolmaker” was widely agreed upon in scientific circles. Such an attitude became responsible for the creation of a huge gap between animal behaviour and human behaviour. This exclusiveness was, however, stopped by numerous observations and researches related to animal tool-making activities. Such questions as “At what level of creating and using a tool do we start dealing with a typically human rational activity?” or “Can an answer to the previous question be given at all on the basis of a tool-making and tool-using criterion in the first place?” have been problematic for many scientists. Therefore, what remains unknown is the source of our knowledge of how Paleolithic tools constitute evidence for the rationality of Homo sapiens’ ancestors. Is the very structure of these tools a reliable proof? Or perhaps some reasoning based upon historical analogies comes into play? Today it is believed that tool-oriented activities among anthropoid apes are similar to the abi lities possessed by early hominids and that they are unique in the animal world. Simultaneously, this belief serves as evidence for the existence of a continuum between tool-making activities among anthropoid apes and tool-making activities among hominids. It is further believed that the technological progression is an outcome of the progression of rationality, starting from the level of the early hominids. Therefore, technological progression is an illustration of the hominids‟ transition from “pre-rationality” to “rationality”. An attempt at verifying these beliefs should be based upon the analysis of methods and results of reconstructions of early hominids‟ tool-oriented activities. Those notions, which are well-documented, should be recognized and separated from all features that are ascribed to the early hominids on the basis of a mere assumption, which has not always been formulated in an explicit way. All direct and obvious empirical data should be compared with the meaning and consequences of more general concepts, namely those which were suggested as explanations to all the questions and mysteries that one may stumble upon.
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