Things That Make Us Smart (1994)
The power of the unaided mind is highly overrated. Without external aids, memory, thought, and reasoning are all constrained. But human intelligence is highly flexible and adaptive, superb at inventing procedures and objects that overcome its own limits. The real powers come from devising external aids that enhance cognitive abilities. How have we increased memory, thought, and reasoning? By the invention of external aids: It is things that make us smart. Some assistance comes through cooperative social behavior; some arises through exploitation of the information present in the environment; and some comes through the development of tools of thought – cognitive artifacts – that complement abilities and strengthen mental powers.