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The human instinct : how we evolved to have reason, consciousness, and free will / Kenneth R. Miller.

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Item details

  • ISBN: 9781476790268
  • ISBN: 1476790264
  • Physical Description: viii, 294 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York, NY : Simon & Schuster, [2018]

Contents / Notes

General Note: "April 2018"--Title page verso.
Bibliography, etc.: Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-278) and index.
Contents: Prologue : our story -- Grandeur -- Say it ain't so -- Chance and wonder -- Explaining it all -- The mind of a primate -- Consciousness -- I, Robot -- Center stage -- Appendix : the chromosome 2 fusion site.
Summary, etc.: "A ... exploration of how humans evolved to develop reason, consciousness, and free will"--Amazon.com.
"Detailing our biological trajectory, Miller shows how we became the only species that could produce Mozart, da Vinci, and Darwin himself. A proper understanding of evolution, he says, reveals humankind in its glorious uniqueness--one foot planted firmly among all of the creatures we've evolved alongside, and the other in the special place of self-awareness and understanding that we alone occupy in the universe." -- Publisher's description.
"Once we had a special place in the hierarchy of life on Earth--a place confirmed by the literature and traditions of every human tribe and culture. But then the theory of evolution arrived to shake the tree of human understanding to its very roots. To many of the most passionate advocates for Darwin's theory, we are just one species among multitudes, no more significant than any other. Even our minds are not our own, they tell us, but living machines programmed for nothing but survival and reproduction. Now comes Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller with a provocative and inspiring counterargument. The greater our understanding of the process of evolution, he says in The Human Instinct, the greater our understanding of how it set us free from the constraints that bind so many other species. We alone have come to know the forces that shaped our origins, and because of that we can rise above them. Evolution surely explains how our bodies and brains were shaped. But that heritage does not limit or predetermine human behavior. In fact, it gives us the power to shape our destiny and to understand our place in the universe. Detailing our biological trajectory, Miller shows how we became the only species that could produce Mozart, da Vinci, and Darwin himself. A proper understanding of evolution, he says, reveals humankind in its glorious uniqueness--one foot planted firmly among all of the creatures we've evolved alongside, and the other in the special place of self-awareness and understanding that we alone occupy in the universe. Equal parts natural science and philosophy, The Human Instinct is a moving and powerful celebration of what it means to be human."--Dust jacket.
Subject: Evolutionary psychology.
Human evolution.
Behavior evolution.
Consciousness.
Natural selection.
Human behavior.
Genre: Nonfiction.
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