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by Merlin Donald Ph.D.

  • ISBN: 0393323196
  • Category: Medical Books
  • Author: Merlin Donald Ph.D.
  • Subcategory: Medicine
  • Other formats: lrf rtf txt azw
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (June 17, 2002)
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • FB2 size: 1779 kb
  • EPUB size: 1768 kb
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 867
Download A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness fb2

In this book, Donald approaches the philosophy of mind from a slightly different dynamic systems perspective than is traditionally taken - it's more of a "minds in society" dynamic systems perspective than a "neurons in mind" dynamic systems perspective.

A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness by Merlin Donald (2001-06-29) Hardcover – 1775. by. Merlin Donald (Author). Find all the books, read about the author, and more. Are you an author? Learn about Author Central.

Merlin Donald is widely known as the author of two books on human cognition, Origins of the Modern Mind and A Mind So Rare

Merlin Donald is widely known as the author of two books on human cognition, Origins of the Modern Mind and A Mind So Rare. The enhanced attentional, metacognitive, and retrieval capacities that resulted from these changes made hominids immensely more capable of dealing with social complexity than their ancestors.

Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition. Behav Brain Sci. Merlin Donald. This book proposes a theory of human cognitive evolution, drawing from paleontology, linguistics, anthropology, cognitive science, and especially neuropsychology. The properties of humankind's brain, culture, and cognition have coevolved in a tight iterative loop; the main event in human evolution has occurred at the cognitive level, however, mediating change at the anatomical and cultural levels.

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Human Cognitive Evolution: How the Modern Mind Came into Being - Merlin Donald - Продолжительность . Inside the mind of a master procrastinator Tim Urban - Продолжительность: 14:04 TED Recommended for you. 14:04.

Human Cognitive Evolution: How the Modern Mind Came into Being - Merlin Donald - Продолжительность: 23:21 NourFoundation Recommended for you. 23:21. Be Rare & Valuable: SO GOOD THEY CAN'T IGNORE YOU by Cal Newport - Продолжительность: 8:06 Productivity Game Recommended for you. 8:06. Sea Games 2019 Billiard (10 December 2019) Equatre Broadcasts 1 332 зрителя. After Effects character animation workflow - Продолжительность: 1:25:25 Emanuele Colombo Recommended for you.

Donald proposes that the human mind is a hybrid product of interweaving a super-complex form of matter (the . A masterful and convincing reassertion of consciousness as an evolutionary triumph and the center of human genius

Donald 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 "distributed" cognitive network. This hybrid mind allowed humanity as a species to break free of the limitations of the mammalian brain. A masterful and convincing reassertion of consciousness as an evolutionary triumph and the center of human genius. In this unflinchingly polemical work, Merlin Donald refutes the arguments of certain scientists and philosophers who have dismissed consciousness as a superficial byproduct of evolution, or even an entirely irrelevant factor in human cognition.

Free download as PDF File . df), Text File . xt) or view presentation slides online. Documents Similar To Merlin Donald. Carousel Previous Carousel Next. From a fantastic book about evolutionary cognition. Merlin Donald, Origins of the Modern Mind. Uploaded by. jarubirubi.

A theory of human consciousness is here or hereabouts. From the evidence of this book, Donald is one of those who substantially understand consciousness-which is to say that he can give a. From the evidence of this book, Donald is one of those who substantially understand consciousness-which is to say that he can give . iew Full Text. A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness BMJ 2001; 323 :1312. BibTeX (win & mac) Download. EndNote (tagged) Download.

Evolution, Consciousness, and the Internality of the Mind. Cambridge University Press. pp. 276. Turing and the Blind Watchmaker.

"The most significant contribution yet to the rapidly growing literature of minds, brains, and consciousness."―Steven Rose

In this masterful rebuttal to the prevailing neuroscientific arguments that seek to explain away consciousness, Merlin Donald presents "a sophisticated conception of a multilayered consciousness drawing much of its power from its cultural matrix" (Booklist). Donald makes "a persuasive case...for consciousness as the central player in the drama of mind" (Peter Dodwell), as he details the forces, both cultural and neuronal, that power our distinctively human modes of awareness. He proposes that the human mind is a hybrid product, interweaving a super-complex form of matter (the brain) with an invisible symbolic web (culture) to form a "distributed" cognitive network. This hybrid mind, he argues, is our main evolutionary advantage, for it allowed humanity as a species to break free of the limitations of the mammalian brain. "Donald transcends the simplistic claims of Evolutionary Psychology,...offering a true Darwinian perspective on the evolution of consciousness."―Philip Lieberman
Reviews about A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness (7):
Nejind
In this book, Donald approaches the philosophy of mind from a slightly different dynamic systems perspective than is traditionally taken - it's more of a "minds in society" dynamic systems perspective than a "neurons in mind" dynamic systems perspective. In contrast to the "neurons in mind" perspective which often relegates to consciousness the status of epiphenomenon, the "minds in society" perspective puts consciousness squarely at center stage as the foundation and generator of some of the very automatisms often taken by the "neurons in mind" perspective as being the primary phenomena. Donald's book is a beautiful example of the huge difference a conceptual paradigm shift can make.

Under Donald's approach, culture is found to have evolutionary priority over language and symbolic thought. Again, this is in contrast to the large body of philosophical work that finds language and symbolic thought to precede culture. A large portion of this book is devoted to scientific evidence and philosophical arguments for the validity of the former over the latter. The reason that this is such a gray area is that, once bootstrapped, human culture, language, and symbolic thought have co-evolved in an out of control positive feedback loop that shrouds the initial evolutionary steps in this direction.

With culture taken as having evolutionary priority over (or at least co-evolutionary equal status with) language and symbolic thought, the latter become (to a significant degree) products of enculturation. Donald uses the case of Helen Keller ingeniously to argue this position. Donald next presents scientific evidence and philosophical arguments that find enculturation to be a wholly conscious undertaking. The logical implication of all of this is that language and symbolic thought are products of consciousness. But drawing a parallel with the evolutionary time scale, consciousness, language, and symbolic thought are all co-*developing* which means that it is at the same time a true statement that consciousness is a product of language and symbolic thought. Donald finds consciousness to have developmental priority, however, by implication from the evolutionary priority of culture - i.e., enculturation cannot occur without consciousness.

All of this occurs within the process of enculturation - which is why Donald takes the next step in asserting that the *fully* human mind is a biology-culture hybrid.

All in all, Donald's is an important corrective perspective on the traditional philosophy of mind.
cyrexoff
This is a book about consciousness, but Donald concentrates on extended human consciousness. His approach is functional and psychological, not neurobiological, but he uses neurobiological evidence here and there. The first thing Donald does is discuss many different views on consicousness, dismissing their proponents as "hardliners" and their theories as unsatisfactory. For example, he does not like the equating of consicousness to perception or sensation (nick humphrey, robert kirk, etc..). He also does not like working memory and language-as-consciousess theories (Fodor, Jaynes, John G. Taylor, Larry Weiskrantz, Dennett, but I think he has a point- aphasics, deaf mutes, and non linguistic creatures {probably} are conscious). Consciousnes is none of this, Donald argues. It is a cognitive ability of executive control, multifocal capacity with a vast evolutionary heritage. Now I would agree with this, but Donalds objections probably arise from confusions. For example, he fails to notice that theorists that equate consciousness with sensation have phenomenal consicousness (qualia) in mind (think of Blocks distinction between access and phenomenal consciousness) not full fledged extended human consciousness. It is true access consciousness cannot be reduced to sensation, but phenomenal consciousness might (notice the might). The same with at least some language theorists (Dennett, for example) They claim not that consicousness is language, but that it is essential for it, especially in the human type of consicousness. This is something Donald argues for later in the book himself. The same with working memory as consciousness theories. They explain the role of WM in consciousness, wich Donald also considers essential.
Apart form these confusions in the reading by Donald of the literature, there is also his idea that short-term memory and capacity limitations are not helpful concepts. Consciousness, Donald says, is more of an intermediate term phenomenon. (Does Donald then equate consciousness with memory, and if so, is this contradictory? THink of hippocampal lesioned patients, who though consicous, can only function in intervals of seconds, before forgetting that period). His confusion I think, rests in his conception of short term memory. He argues that human consicousnes takes place in temporal units of many minutes and hours, like in the following of a converation, and since WM is of the order of seconds, this cannot be the whole story. But it is not clear to me that one could not explain Donalds "intermediate term" consciousness by alluding to WM plus some sort of reactivation by top-down processes.
To me the strongest part of the book is where Donald argues that not only humans are conscious. Consicousness emerged in stages, with different characteristics and abilities, and there is no good reason to deny it to many mamals. Humans and primates, are in a diferent class altogether. They have a group of executive abilities that make consciousness more interesting. He proposes three levels, binding, working memory, intermediate and long term control. Binding is perceptual consciousness, the coherent representation of objects, and is probably the basic form of awareness, present in many species. Working memory is extends binding in time, and is probably characteristic of primates and select mamals. Intermediate control is episodic, executive, and extends consciousness considerably, in place probably in social mamals. Here one could see that Donald fals prey of his own primary objections. He objects to consicousness being identified with working memory, language, or sensation alone, but he seems to say consicousness is all of these things together. This is not extremely self-consistent.
Next comes Donalds major point. That human consicousness is not just that. THere is more, and that is the fact that we are not just brains, but brains in culture, and that culture and language expand consciousness into the human kind we enjoy. That is, we compute symbolically, but also analogically, we are "hybrid minds". Donald lists pre-requisites of this deep enculturation. There is extended executive function, superplasticity in cortex, the evolution of asssociation areas in cortex, voluntary access to memory, and an extended working memory. This, along with the influence of culture and language, is human consicousness.
Enculturation, is to Donald essential, as can be seen in the last chapters of the book that recapitulate the ideas of his former book "Origins of the Modern Mind", about the three stages of cognitive evolution of mimesis, episodic ability and invention of symbolic comunication and external storage. This is a different matter from consicousness altogether, that proposes how the human cognitive architecture evolved. It is a very intreresting theory, that Donald at the end uses to structure his ideas on consciousness.
Donalds book is very thought provoking, but has some very questionable claims (For example, he says there are no projections from association cortex to sensory cortex, which is wrong, or that neural networks might be consicous but not serial computers, even though neural nets are implemented on the latter, being comitted to the strange position that in a computer the software might be consicous, but not the computer itself) probably due to his strange reading of the literature. He critiques models of consciousness as essentially misleading, but not noticing that it is because other theorists concentrate on primary, sensory and access consicousness, not the whole of human consciousness with its exeptional range of characteristics. He also forgets about emotions and their role on creating the self and consciousness, as well as the role of sub cortical structures, like MRT, thalamus, etc.) By concentrating on HUMAN consciousness, he only partially explains this elusive phenomenon, not giving even hints about the nature of phenomenal consciousness, and only very abstractly proposing testable hypotheses, a fatal flaw in my view for any science-inclined book.
Low_Skill_But_Happy_Deagle
Merlin Donald makes an incredibly lucid analysis of a really complex and multi-layered set of information. Comparing and contrasting the various theories and systems to test/think/talk about consciousness is at times dazzling, at times hilarious. His ability to synthesize and draw conclusions that challenge while intriguing the reader is masterful. I am very pleased that I got a chance to read this book, and highly recommend it.
Ces
Well explained the governing role of consciousness, the three levels of awareness: the basic binding, the short term control and the long term governance; and the three layers: mimetic, mythic, and theoretic.
I would have appretiated a clearer explanation of the arrival at high self-consciounness at tehe start of the Upper Paleolithic.
Dagdalas
So much information to stimulate thought. A very worthwhile book that can keep a person thinking about possibilities for years. If you are interested in the mind, this would be a good purchase. But it is not a fast read.
Contancia
Merlin Donald describes important concepts and theories in this book. Well worth the investment. His articulate insights are worthy of the read.

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