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Further Thoughts: The Cognitive Function Of Writing In MUL.APIN

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Chapter Summary

There is no reason, in principle, why scientific theories should be off-limits to any human culture, even pre-literate ones. Developmental evidence now suggests that scientific theories develop out of the core conceptual knowledge common to every human being. The earliest uses of writing were independent of spoken language. As Cooper (2004:83) points out, writing was initially intended for uses in areas where spoken language couldn't do the job. The cuneiform corpus provides a unique window onto these early developments, and MUL.APIN, to some extent, mirrors the progression of written forms in the cuneiform corpus. The permanence of writing renders content available over time for effortful, conscious, analytic processes. It boosts the capacity of working memory, and it extends access beyond information stored in individual memory to that recorded in the cumulative archival records of the culture.

Keywords: Cognitive Function; Cooper; cuneiform corpus; human culture; MUL.APIN; Writing



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