Figments of Reality: The Evolution of the Curious Mind (Revised)

Jack Cohen (Author) Stewart Ian (Author)


Peppered with wit and controversial topics, this is a refreshing new look at the co-evolution of mind and culture. Bestselling authors Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen (The Collapse of Chaos, 1994) eloquently argue that our minds evolved within an inextricable link with culture and language. They go beyond conventional views of the function and purpose of the mind to look at the ways that the mind is the response of an evolving brain that is constantly adjusting to a complex environment. Along the way they develop new and intriguing insights into the nature of evolution, science, and humanity that will challenge conventional views on consciousness. The esteemed authors tantalize the reader with these bold new outlooks while putting a revolutionary spin on such classic philosophical problems as the nature of free will and the essence of humanity. This clearly written and enjoyable book will inspire any educated reader to critically evaluate the existing notions of the nature of the human mind.

Product Details

$29.95  $27.55
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
September 09, 1999
6.0 X 0.85 X 8.97 inches | 1.24 pounds

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"A stimulating theory of how mind, consciousness, and culture have coevolved to create our species by two masters of informed, scientific speculation. Try'll learn a lot. Who could ask for more?" John L. Casti, Santa Fe Institute and Technical University of Vienna, author of Would-Be Worlds
"The most thought-provoking book I've read all year." Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series
"Figments of Reality is highly recommended for college-level collections and any non-specialist general reader." Bookwatch
"While the subject matter is rather heady, the authors are quickwitted and provide a lively exposition." Science News Books
"A delightful read that is excellent for academic collections and general collections with a highly literate readership." Mark L. Shelton, Library Journal
"[The authors] are witty, erudite, clever, and generally clear-headed in this rationalist's view of the universe and human evolution...delightful..." Library Journal
"Stewart and Cohen show how intelligence and extelligence interact by way of language and how the end product formulates culture...the authors are quick-witted and provide a lively exposition." Science News
"It analyzes the evolution of mankind's consciousness from a new and intriguing perspective. It argues that the mind evolved in the context of culture and language, aiding survival in a complex and competitive world." Biology Digest
"One of the most heartening and innovative books of the year...This kind of book explodes the notion of the imminent and final theory of everything; by the same token, it shows that the death of science has been greatly exaggerated." The Sunday Times of London