Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
Origins of the Modern Mind

Origins of the Modern Mind

Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition

Merlin Donald

ISBN 9780674644847

Publication date: 03/15/1993

This bold and brilliant book asks the ultimate question of the life sciences: How did the human mind acquire its incomparable power? In seeking the answer, Merlin Donald traces the evolution of human culture and cognition from primitive apes to artificial intelligence, presenting an enterprising and original theory of how the human mind evolved from its presymbolic form.


  • Origins of the Modern Mind is an admirable book… Its author displays throughout an engaging enthusiasm, a fertile imagination and an impressive knowledge of his subject-matter.

    —Christopher Longuet-Higgins, Times Literary Supplement


  • Merlin Donald is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

Book Details

  • 424 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press