Cover: Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition, from Harvard University PressCover: Origins of the Modern Mind in PAPERBACK

Origins of the Modern Mind

Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition

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Product Details


$36.00 • £28.95 • €32.50

ISBN 9780674644847

Publication Date: 03/15/1993


424 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

17 line illustrations, 5 tables


  • Prologue
  • 1. The Need for a Theory of Cognitive Evolution
    • Mental Architecture as an Emergent Phenomenon
    • Culture as Evidence for Cognitive Structure
    • The Organization of This Book
  • 2. Darwin’s Thesis
    • Continuity and Discontinuity
    • Pre-Darwinian Theories
    • Darwin on Animal Intelligence
    • Darwin’s Thesis on Language Origins
    • Conclusion: A Multidisciplinary Puzzle
  • 3. Wernicke’s Machine
    • Modular and Unitary Models of Language
    • Neuropsychological Aspects of Evolution
    • The Case of Brother John
    • The Brain without Language
    • Conclusion: Wernicke’s Machine in Evolution
  • 4. The Chronology of Anatomical and Cultural Change<
    • Markers in the Chronology of Change
    • Bipedalism: The Australopithecines
    • Encephalization: The Hominids
    • Speech: A Recent Innovation
    • Conclusion: The Question of Cognitive Stages
  • 5. Primitive Cognition: Episodic Culture
    • Ape Skill: An Overview
    • Episodic Culture: A Definition
    • Event Perception in Apes
    • Culture and Evolution
    • Conclusion: The Episodic Mind
  • 6. First Transition: From Episodic to Mimetic Culture
    • Mimetic Culture: The Missing Link
    • Human Cognition without Language
    • Mimetic Skill
    • Social Consequences of Mimetic Representation
    • Modalities of Mimetic Expression
    • Neuroanatomical Considerations
    • Conclusion: Mimetic Culture as a Survival Strategy
  • 7. Second Transition: From Mimetic to Mythic Culture
    • Language and the Rise of Human Culture
    • Symbolic Invention
    • The Speech Adaptation
    • What Is Localized?
    • Conclusion: Mythic Culture and the Uses of Language
  • 8. Third Transition: External Symbolic Storage and Theoretic Culture
    • From Mythic to Theoretic Governance
    • Visuographic Invention
    • External Memory Devices: A Hardware Change
    • The Emergence of Theoretic Culture
    • Conclusion: The Hybrid Modern Mind
  • 9. Consciousness and Indeterminacy
    • Transcending the Episodic Model of Mind
    • Localization after the Third Transition
    • Conclusion: Exuberant Materialism
  • References
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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