Landscape of the Mind: Human Evolution and the Archaeology of Thought (BOK)

John F. Hoffecker

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In Landscape of the Mind, John F. Hoffecker explores the origin and growth of the human mind, drawing on archaeology, history, and the fossil record. He suggests that, as an indirect result of bipedal locomotion, early humans developed a feedback relationship among their hands, brains, and tools that evolved into the capacity to externalize thoughts in the form of shaped stone objects. When anatomically modern humans evolved a parallel capacity to externalize thoughts as symbolic language, individual brains within social groups became integrated into a "neocortical Internet," or super-brain, giving birth to the mind. Noting that archaeological traces of symbolism coincide with evidence of the ability to generate novel technology, Hoffecker contends that human creativity, as well as higher orderconsciousness, is a product of the superbrain. He equates the subsequent growth of the mind with human history, which began in Africa more than 50,000 years ago. As anatomicallymodern humans spread across the globe, adapting to a variety of climates and habitats, they redesigned themselves technologically and created alternative realities through tools, language, and art. Hoffecker connects the rise of civilization to a hierarchical reorganization of the super-brain, triggered by explosive population growth. Subsequent human history reflects to varying degrees the suppression of the mind's creative powers by the rigid hierarchies of nationstates and empires, constraining the further accumulation of knowledge. The modern world emerged after 1200 from the fragments of the Roman Empire, whose collapse had eliminated a central authority that could thwart innovation. Hoffecker concludes with speculation about the possibility of artificial intelligence and the consequences of a mindliberated from its organic antecedents to exist in an independent, nonbiological form.

Produktfakta

Språk Engelsk Engelsk Innbinding Innbundet
Utgitt 2011 Forfatter John F. Hoffecker
Forlag
University Press Group Ltd
ISBN 9780231147040
Antall sider 288 Dimensjoner 15,2cm x 22,9cm x 2,8cm
Vekt 454 gram Leverandør Bertram Trading Ltd
Emner og form Anthropology