THE SYMBOLIC SPECIES THE CO EVOLUTION OF LANGUAGE AND THE BRAIN

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The Symbolic Species The Co Evolution Of Language And The Brain

Author : Terrence W. Deacon
ISBN : 9780393343021
Genre : Science
File Size : 29.25 MB
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"A work of enormous breadth, likely to pleasantly surprise both general readers and experts."—New York Times Book Review This revolutionary book provides fresh answers to long-standing questions of human origins and consciousness. Drawing on his breakthrough research in comparative neuroscience, Terrence Deacon offers a wealth of insights into the significance of symbolic thinking: from the co-evolutionary exchange between language and brains over two million years of hominid evolution to the ethical repercussions that followed man's newfound access to other people's thoughts and emotions. Informing these insights is a new understanding of how Darwinian processes underlie the brain's development and function as well as its evolution. In contrast to much contemporary neuroscience that treats the brain as no more or less than a computer, Deacon provides a new clarity of vision into the mechanism of mind. It injects a renewed sense of adventure into the experience of being human.
Category: Science

The Symbolic Species Evolved

Author : Theresa Schilhab
ISBN : 9789400723351
Genre : Science
File Size : 43.83 MB
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This anthology is a compilation of the best contributions from Symbolic Species Conferences I, II (which took place in 2006, 2007). In 1997 the American anthropologist Terrence Deacon published The Symbolic Species: The Coevolution of Language and the Brain. The book is widely considered a seminal work in the subject of evolutionary cognition. However, Deacons book was the first step – further steps have had to be taken. The proposed anthology is such an important associate. The contributions are written by a wide variety of scholars each with a unique view on evolutionary cognition and the questions raised by Terrence Deacon - emergence in evolution, the origin of language, the semiotic 'missing link', Peirce's semiotics in evolution and biology, biosemiotics, evolutionary cognition, Baldwinian evolution, the neuroscience of linguistic capacities as well as phylogeny of the homo species, primatology, embodied cognition and knowledge types.
Category: Science

Incomplete Nature How Mind Emerged From Matter

Author : Terrence W. Deacon
ISBN : 9780393049916
Genre : Science
File Size : 66.31 MB
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Examines the emergent processes that bridge the gap between organisms that think and have consciousness and those that do not and discusses the origins of life, information, and free will.
Category: Science

Principles Of Brain Evolution

Author : Georg F. Striedter
ISBN : 0878938206
Genre : Science
File Size : 29.78 MB
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Aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this textbook describes some of the basic principles affecting brain evolution. The author refers to data from a wide array of vertebrates while minimizing technical jargon. Particular attention has been paid to the ways in which changes in brain structure impact function and behavior. The volume concludes with a discussion on how mammal brains diverged from other brains and how Homo sapiens evolved a very large and special brain.
Category: Science

A Mind So Rare

Author : Merlin Donald
ISBN : 0393323196
Genre : Medical
File Size : 43.87 MB
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Presenting the cultural and neuronal forces that power our distinctively human modes of awareness, the author proposes that the human mind is a hybrid product of interweaving a super-complex form of matter (the brain) with an invisible symbolic web (culture) to form a cognitive network. Reprint. 11,500 first printing.
Category: Medical

Human Language And Our Reptilian Brain

Author : Philip Lieberman
ISBN : 0674040228
Genre : Medical
File Size : 36.25 MB
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This book is an entry into the fierce current debate among psycholinguists, neuroscientists, and evolutionary theorists about the nature and origins of human language. A prominent neuroscientist here takes up the Darwinian case, using data seldom considered by psycholinguists and neurolinguists to argue that human language--though more sophisticated than all other forms of animal communication--is not a qualitatively different ability from all forms of animal communication, does not require a quantum evolutionary leap to explain it, and is not unified in a single "language instinct." Using clinical evidence from speech-impaired patients, functional neuroimaging, and evolutionary biology to make his case, Philip Lieberman contends that human language is not a single separate module but a functional neurological system made up of many separate abilities. Language remains as it began, Lieberman argues: a device for coping with the world. But in a blow to human narcissism, he makes the case that this most remarkable human ability is a by-product of our remote reptilian ancestors' abilities to dodge hazards, seize opportunities, and live to see another day.
Category: Medical

Neither Ghost Nor Machine

Author : Jeremy Sherman
ISBN : 9780231545990
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 74.16 MB
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If the universe is aimless, how do selves and aims emerge? Why do living beings have aims when inanimate things do not? Current science encourages us to reject the ghost-in-the-machine explanation—that something called spirit, soul, mind, or will was somehow breathed into matter—and instead accept that selves are just matter, in aimless mechanistic motion like everything else. But what about life’s many emergent qualities, the multifarious purposes that shape actual physical behavior not just in human lives, but in all of life? Even the simplest life forms have adaptive functions, traits that accomplish goals or ends. How can we explain the nature and origin of selves and aims without resorting to supernatural forces or explaining them away as nothing but cause-and-effect mechanisms? In Neither Ghost nor Machine, Jeremy Sherman explains the emergence of selves and aims in an aimless universe. He distills for a general audience the theory developed by renowned neuroscientist Terrence Deacon, which extends the breakthrough constraint-based insight that inspired evolutionary, information, and self-organization theory. Emergent dynamics theory provides a testable hypothesis for how mattering arose from matter, function from physics, and means-to-ends behavior from cause-and-effect dynamics. It offers a physics of purpose, demonstrating that there is a strictly physical explanation for the emergence and nature of selves and aims, one that shows our existence in an otherwise inanimate universe is not absurd. Neither Ghost nor Machine bridges the gap between the hard and soft sciences, suggesting fresh and exciting solutions to philosophical mysteries that have perplexed humanity for millennia, from free will to causality to morality.
Category: Philosophy

Lingua Ex Machina

Author : William H. Calvin
ISBN : 0262531984
Genre : Medical
File Size : 84.15 MB
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A machine for language? Certainly, say the neurophysiologists, busy studying the language specializations of the human brain and trying to identify their evolutionary antecedents. Linguists such as Noam Chomsky talk about machinelike "modules" in the brain for syntax, arguing that language is more an instinct (a complex behavior triggered by simple environmental stimuli) than an acquired skill like riding a bicycle. But structured language presents the same evolutionary problems as feathered forelimbs for flight: you need a lot of specializations to fly even a little bit. How do you get them, if evolution has no foresight and the intermediate stages do not have intermediate payoffs? Some say that the Darwinian scheme for gradual species self-improvement cannot explain our most valued human capability, the one that sets us so far above the apes, language itself. William Calvin and Derek Bickerton suggest that other evolutionary developments, not directly related to language, allowed language to evolve in a way that eventually promoted a Chomskian syntax. They compare these intermediate behaviors to the curb-cuts originally intended for wheelchair users. Their usefulness was soon discovered by users of strollers, shopping carts, rollerblades, and so on. The authors argue that reciprocal altruism and ballistic movement planning were "curb-cuts" that indirectly promoted the formation of structured language. Written in the form of a dialogue set in Bellagio, Italy, Lingua ex Machina presents an engaging challenge to those who view the human capacity for language as a winner-take-all war between Chomsky and Darwin.
Category: Medical

Human Natures

Author : Paul R. Ehrlich
ISBN : 155963779X
Genre : Science
File Size : 41.44 MB
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Explores the impact and inconsistancies of human evolution upon human nature, examining the physical, intellectual, cultural, and sexual aspects of human development and behaviors in the light of current scientific theory.
Category: Science

The Evolution Of Individuality

Author : Leo W. Buss
ISBN : 9781400858712
Genre : Science
File Size : 59.35 MB
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Leo Buss expounds a general theory of development through a simple hierarchical extension of the synthetic theory of evolution. He perceives innovations in development to have evolved in ancestral organisms where the germ line was not closed to genetic variation arising during the course of ontogeny. Originally published in 1988. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Category: Science