This commentary does three things. First, it offers further support for the view that explicit reasoning evolved for public argumentation. Second, it suggests that promoting effective communication may not be the only, or even the main, function of public argumentation. Third, it argues that the data Mercier and Sperber (M&S) cite are compatible with the view that reasoning has subsequently been co-opted to play a role in individual cognition.
(Online publication March 29 2011)