Figments of Reality: The Evolution of the Curious Mind

Jack Cohen; Dr Ian Stewart
ISBN:
0521571553

Is the universe around us a figment of our imagination? Or are our minds figments of reality? In this refreshing new look at the evolution of mind and culture, bestselling authors Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen eloquently argue that our minds necessarily evolved in an inextricable link with culture and language. They go beyond conventional reductionist ideas to look at how the mind is the response of an evolving brain trying to grapple with a complex environment. Along the way they develop new and intriguing insights into the nature of evolution, science and humanity. Read More Show Less Editorial Reviews From the Publisher "One of the most heartening and innovative books of the year...This kind of book explodes the notion of the imminent and final theory of everything; by the same token, it shows that the death of science has been greatly exaggerated." The Sunday Times of London "[The authors] are witty, erudite, clever, and generally clear-headed in this rationalist's view of the universe and human evolution...delightful..." Library Journal "It analyzes the evolution of mankind's consciousness from a new and intriguing perspective. It argues that the mind evolved in the context of culture and language, aiding survival in a complex and competitive world." Biology Digest "The most thought-provoking book I've read all year." Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series "A stimulating theory of how mind, consciousness, and culture have coevolved to create our species by two masters of informed, scientific speculation. Try it...you'll learn a lot. Who could ask for more?" John L. Casti, Santa Fe Institute and Technical University of Vienna, author of Would-Be Worlds "Figments of Reality is highly recommended for college-level collections and any non-specialist general reader." Bookwatch "A delightful read that is excellent for academic collections and general collections with a highly literate readership." Mark L. Shelton, Library Journal "Stewart and Cohen show how intelligence and extelligence interact by way of language and how the end product formulates culture...the authors are quick-witted and provide a lively exposition." Science News "While the subject matter is rather heady, the authors are quickwitted and provide a lively exposition." Science News Books "It analyzes the evolution of mankind's consciousness from a new and intriguing perspective. It argues that the mind evolved in the context of culture and language, aiding survival in a complex and competitive world." Biology Digest

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