DOI: 10.18413/2313-8912-2017-3-1-3-12


Being mammals, humans both share with other animals varied forms of information exchange typical for that class and have something that makes them different, i.e. higher-order thinking, languages and unprecedented social activity resulting in a great diversity of cultures. People are particularly skilled in coordinating their activities, human communities rely on mind-sharing that is realized through distributed cognition. It is argued in the paper that human species’ socially distributed cognition is an extension to their biologically distributed cognition both being inseparable from distributed communicative interactions. From the biosemiotic perspective, humans can be described as very complex dynamic living systems that are continuously involved in multifaceted communicative activity but so are all living systems, and lower-level mental abstraction could have evolved in terms of spatial cognition employed in on-line communicative interaction with the environment. It is proposed that that initial level of mental abstraction could then advance into higher-order thinking when humans developed communication off-line. Thus human semiotic mind specificity became possible due to biological and social distributed cognition and communication complementarity. The recorded history of mankind gives evidence that the focus on the off-line communication has been increasingly rising ever since. The shift from on-line to off-line interaction ensured the unparalleled social cooperation due to the distribution of cognitive processes across the members of a social group independently of 'here and now'.
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