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The Evolution of Mind Hardcover – June 11, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0195110531 ISBN-10: 0195110536 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 11, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195110536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195110531
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,869,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A superb and stimulating book containing contributions from the top minds in evolutionary cognitive psychology. Chapters are uniformly high level and ground breaking. The book signals a scientific revolution in the Darwinizing of cognitive psychology. A must read for all psychological researchers, as well as those who want or need to keep up with the cutting edge."--David M. Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating


"In the last few years evolutionary psychology has become one of the hottest areas of research in the cognitive sciences. The essays that Cummins and Allen have assembled make it very clear why this new interdisciplinary field is so exciting, challenging, and controversial. The book includes cutting edge essays that are absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in the mind and how it evolved."--Stephen P. Stich, Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Rutgers University


"With the question of animal minds featured on the cover of Newsweek and columnists from the New York Times going at each other over evolutionary psychology, it should be obvious to everyone that behavioral science is entering a new era. A good slogan for this era may be 'no psychology without biology; no biology (at least for mammals) without psychology.' The work that Cummins and Allen have brought together constitutes not just a manifesto for this new era, but is chockfull of exciting ideas about how we can empirically study the evolution of mind in both humans and other animals."--Dale Jamieson, Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder


"One of the most significant achievements of evolutionary psychology has been to seriously question the traditional view that we possess a general-purpose intelligence that can analyse any aspect of human experience with equal aplomb. Humanity in the image of a divine being is perhaps the most extreme expression and source of this view. In contrast, an evolutionary perspective reveals human minds, like those of other species, to be imperfect, relatively jerry-built devices that are shaped by natural selection to deal with a specific set of problems in the species' ancestral environment. . . . The Evolution of Mind is . . . a timely collection. The authors of its 10 chapters are drawn from departments of psychology, philosophy, biology and anthropology, and the book covers both human and nonhuman minds."--Nature


"Offering an eclectic interdisciplinary review of thoughts on the evolution of mind, this volume provides ten provocative and well referenced essays from a range of perspectives. Most of the contributors provide discussions of species-comparative data and are sympathetic to some form of Darwinian evolutionary framework. However, although not always explicitly stated, only four of them allude to the importance of ontogenetic development (of individuals) as well as to the phylogenetic evolution of species adapting to the constraints imposed by their respective environments. ... Whatever one's views re evolutionary theories of mind, this volume provides many good questions (if not answers) for future comparative psychologist, naturalist and philosopher alike."-- Metapsychology (Mental Help Net's Bookstore)


About the Author

Denise Dellarosa Cummins is Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.  She is the author of Good Thinking: Seven Powerful Ideas That Influence The Way We Think and The Other Side of Psychology. She also co-edited Minds, Brains, & Computers: An Historical Introduction to the Foundations of Cognitive Science.  Her research interests include reasoning and decision-making from evolutionary, comparative, and developmental perspectives.

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Anthony R. Dickinson on October 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Offering an eclectic interdisciplinary review of thoughts on the evolution of mind, this volume provides ten provocative and well referenced essays from a range of perspectives. Most of the contributors provide discussions of species-comparative data and are sympathetic to some form of Darwinian evolutionary framework. However, although not always explicitly stated, only four of them allude to the importance of ontogenetic development (of individuals) as well as to the phylogenetic evolution of species adapting to the constraints imposed by their respective environments. Many writers on this topic give up when reaching the seemingly great continuity impasse -thereafter holding the advent of language or linguistically-mediated behaviour to account for the differences found between human mental life and that of other animals. However, this is to account for little with regards the evolution of comparative animal cognition (Dickinson, 1997). Even if such linguistic tools as object and event referents may be ripe for their scaffolding subsequent categorizations leading to the production of our particular brand of human thought, it remains open to empirical analysis whether, and to what extent, other species might be capable of experiencing reflective levels of ideational abstraction. Bloom (in Ch.8 of this volume) addresses this issue directly when he argues that language and the non-linguistic aspects of mental life have distinct evolutionary histories. His is a very welcome contribution to a field often dominated by authors blind to drawing the important distinction "...that language is an excellent tool for information transfer.. [but also for making].. the much stronger claim that language explains people's ability to understand or generate this information in the first place".Read more ›
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