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Cover Art
PRINTED BOOKS
Author Donald, Merlin, 1939-

Title A mind so rare : the evolution of human consciousness / Merlin Donald.

Published New York : Norton, [2001]
©2001

Copies

Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  153 DONA    AVAILABLE
Edition 1st ed.
Physical description xiv, 371 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [345]-362) and index.
Contents 1. Consciousness in Evolution 1 -- Demons and memes 3 -- Questions of definition 4 -- Building our own demons 7 -- 2. Paradox of Consciousness 13 -- A limited instrument 14 -- Minimalist people 16 -- Ultimate form of deconstruction 19 -- Tunnel of consciousness 21 -- Paradox of paradoxes 25 -- Hardliners 28 -- Radical presumption 31 -- Even more radical presumption 35 -- Dennett's dangerous idea 39 -- 3. Governor of Mental Life 46 -- Time frame of awareness 47 -- Confusion over automaticity 57 -- Clinical view: Consciousness and self-governance 59 -- An aggressive, interventionist consciousness: A case history 70 -- Zasetsky's mirror twins 76 -- A literary view 78 -- Vertical depth and unity: The true reach of metacognition 83 -- Internalization and solipsistic awareness 87 -- Changing our model 88 -- 4. Consciousness Club 92 -- Materiality of mind 96 -- Eliminating the scale problem 99 -- Vestigial brains, not so vestigial minds 106 -- Avoiding the scala naturae 113 -- Defining the domain 117 -- Consciousness Club 122 -- Bringing extra resources to bear 130 -- Embodiment, egocenters, and homunculi 134 -- Executive Suite: Defining the primate "zone of proximal evolution" 137 -- 5. Three Levels of Basic Awareness 149 -- Myth of the isolated mind 149 -- Great computational divide 153 -- Dawn of hybrid mind: Access to memory 157 -- Models of models and the tertiary regions 164 -- Chasing phantoms 168 -- Level-1 awareness: Selective binding 178 -- Level-2 awareness: Short-term control 184 -- Level-3 awareness: Intermediate-and long-term governance 195 -- Episodic awareness 200 -- Entertaining a radical possibility 202 -- 6. Condillac's Statue 205 -- Minds in motion 206 -- Superplasticity 208 -- Third Man: Deep enculturation 211 -- Much-misunderstood Statute and the birth of Constructivism 214 -- Mandler's dictum 227 -- Extraordinary mind of Helen Keller 232 -- Contact 239 -- Outside-Inside 250 -- 7. First Hybrid Minds on Earth 252 -- Abandoning solipsism 252 -- Consciousness and community of mind 254 -- Cultural relevance of a multifocal, multilayered consciousness 257 -- Stages of human cultural and cognitive evolution 259 -- First transition: Establishing the mimetic framework of human culture 262 -- Germ of self-consciousness 269 -- Kinematic imagination 271 -- Second transition: The spiraling coevolution of thought and symbol 274 -- Piggybacking language on culture 279 -- Our cerebral boxing match with the cultural matrix 285 -- Management of idea-laundering schemes 287 -- Symbolic invention and the growth of the lexicon 290 -- Virtual realities of oral-mythic culture 295 -- Collectivity of mind 298 -- 8. Triumph of Consciousness 301 -- Third transition: The invention of symbolic technologies 305 -- A Mirror of Consciousness: The external memory field 308 -- A cerebral Trojan Horse 315 -- Multilayered cultures, multilayered domains of awareness 320 -- Essential unity of the conscious hierarchy 322.
Summary A convincing reassertion of consciousness as an evolutionary triumph and the center of human genius. In this polemical work, Merlin Donald refutes the arguments of scientists and philosophers who dismiss consciousness as a superficial byproduct of evolution. His thesis presents the forces, both cultural and neuronal, that power the distinctively human modes of awareness. 8 b/w line drawings.
Subject Brain.
Consciousness.
ISBN 0393049507