landscape of the mind human evolution and the archeology of thought

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Landscape Of The Mind

Author : John F. Hoffecker
ISBN : 9780231518482
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 79. 98 MB
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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 order consciousness, 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 anatomically modern 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 mind liberated from its organic antecedents to exist in an independent, nonbiological form.

Mortal Rituals

Author : Matt J. Rossano
ISBN : 9780231535465
Genre : Science
File Size : 38. 91 MB
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On December 21, 1972, sixteen young survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 were rescued after spending ten weeks stranded at the crash site of their plane, high in the remote Andes Mountains. The incident made international headlines and spawned several best-selling books, fueled partly by the fact that the young men had resorted to cannibalism to survive. Matt Rossano examines this story from an evolutionary perspective, weaving together findings and ideas from anthropology, psychology, religion, and cognitive science. During their ordeal, these young men broke "civilized" taboos to fend off starvation and abandoned "civilized" modes of thinking to maintain social unity and individual sanity. Through the power of ritual, the survivors were able to endure severe emotional and physical hardship. Rossano ties their story to our story, seeing in the mortal rituals of this struggle for survival a reflection of what it means to be human.

Handbook Of Landscape Archaeology

Author : Bruno David
ISBN : 9781315427720
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 61. 26 MB
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Over the past three decades, “landscape” has become an umbrella term to describe many different strands of archaeology. From the processualist study of settlement patterns to the phenomenologist’s experience of the natural world, from human impact on past environments to the environment’s impact on human thought, action, and interaction, the term has been used. In this volume, for the first time, over 80 archaeologists from three continents attempt a comprehensive definition of the ideas and practices of landscape archaeology, covering the theoretical and the practical, the research and conservation, and encasing the term in a global framework. As a basic reference volume for landscape archaeology, this volume will be the benchmark for decades to come. All royalties on this Handbook are donated to the World Archaeological Congress.

Theology Evolution And The Mind

Author : Neil Spurway
ISBN : 9781443810166
Genre : Science
File Size : 50. 70 MB
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In pre-scientific thought mind itself, and its religious perceptions particularly, were considered gifts from God, injected into a previously created world of matter. By contrast, all the contributors to this book accept an evolutionary account of life, mind and its religious dispositions. However they hold more divergent views on the relation of mind to body and brain, on the validity of those religious dispositions, and on how far even Christ, and his predicted Second Coming, may be seen as aspectc of the evolutionary process. The seventeen contributions are rewritten and extended versions of papers first delivered at the annual conference of the UK’s Science and Religion Forum, held at Canterbury Christ Church College in Sept 2007. Though most speakers were British, representatives from The Netherlands, Jordan, Zimbabwe and USA also contributed. Invited individual chapters consider the general pattern of evolutionary thought, arguing that it can make a major contribution to the maturation of theology; archeological evidence for the emergence of religion, and the proposal that it was an inevitable phase in human evolution; the contribution of religious concepts to the development of our species, and the question whether that provides any ground for accepting them as true; the unresolved debate whether mind is a separate entity from brain, or a consequence of its activity; and the melding of paleo-anthropology with theology to provide an integrated account of humanity and its culmination in Christ. Each of these papers is the subject of an individual expert response, and they are all drawn together in an overview essay which concludes the first part of the book. The second, shorter part contains a selection from the papers contributed by registrants for the meeting. Their topics are whether mathematics consists of truths discovered, or thought-forms developed, by human minds; ecological awareness as an evolutionary development; the neurobiology of freewill and sin; an evolutionary perspective on holistic medicine; and the impressive fruitfulness of juxtaposing neurophysiological and biblical concepts of the human body-mind.

Journal Of Anthropological Research

Author :
ISBN : UCSD:31822041001546
Genre : Anthropology
File Size : 40. 9 MB
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The Archaeology Of Human Ancestry

Author : Stephen Shennan
ISBN : 9781134814497
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 41. 12 MB
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Human social life is constrained and defined by our cognitive and emotional dispositions, which are the legacy of our foraging ancestors. But how difficult is it to reconstruct the social systems and cultural traditions of those ancestors? The Archaeology of Human Ancestry provides a stimulating and provocative answer, in which archaeologists and biological anthropologists set out and demonstrate their reconstructive methods. Contributors use observations of primates and modern hunter-gatherers to illuminate the fossil and artefactual records. Thematic treatment covers the evolution of group size; group composition and the emotional structure of social bonds; sexual dimorphism and the sexual division of labour; and the origins of human cultural traditions. The Archaeology of Human Ancestry is an essential introduction to the subject for advanced undergraduates and researchers in archaeology and biological anthropology. It will also be used by workers in psychology, sociology and feminist studies as a resource for understanding human social origins.

Origins Of Religion Cognition And Culture

Author : Armin W. Geertz
ISBN : 9781317544555
Genre : Religion
File Size : 66. 31 MB
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Attempts to understand the origins of humanity have raised fundamental questions about the complex relationship between cognition and culture. Central to the debates on origins is the role of religion, religious ritual and religious experience. What came first: individual religious (ecstatic) experiences, collective observances of transition situations, fear of death, ritual competence, magical coercion; mirror neurons or temporal lobe religiosity? Cognitive scientists are now providing us with important insights on phylogenetic and ontogenetic processes. Together with insights from the humanities and social sciences on the origins, development and maintenance of complex semiotic, social and cultural systems, a general picture of what is particularly human about humans could emerge. Reflections on the preconditions for symbolic and linguistic competence and practice are now within our grasp. Origins of Religion, Cognition and Culture puts culture centre stage in the cognitive science of religion.

Contemporary Archaeology In Theory

Author : Robert W. Preucel
ISBN : 9781405158329
Genre : History
File Size : 47. 20 MB
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"Contemporary Archaeology in Theory: The New Pragmatism is a great collection of texts to teach from, but it is much more than that. Preucel and Mrozowski have put together a landmark volume that combines a diversity of exciting contributions with a common intellectual agenda and purpose. One comes away from reading The New Pragmatism with a sense of a serious, mature discipline that combines academic rigour with social engagement." Matthew Johnson, University of Southampton "Far more than a second edition, this is a fully transformed, cutting-edge, thorough, truly monumental book that captures the richness of archaeological theory today for introductory and advanced readers alike." Stephen Silliman, University of Massachusetts, Boston "The new pragmatism advanced by the editors places archaeology within its social context, importantly in ways that can serve contemporary needs in the modern world. Archaeology is no longer innocent." Peter Bellwood, Australian National University "This collection of papers works beautifully as an overview of contemporary archaeological theory. It's framing as `The New Pragmatism' is quite appropriate given the discipline's challenge to better address current social contexts and human needs." Dean Saitta, University of Denver This completely revised second edition of Contemporary Archaeology in Theory challenges the traditional boundaries between prehistoric and historical archaeologies, as well as those between time, space, things, and people. Essays by a distinguished group of archaeologists outline the emergence of a socially conscious archaeology by addressing the material mediation of contemporary social problems such as colonialism, industrialism, racialization, and globalization. Contemporary Archaeology in Theory: The New Pragmatism investigates the gradual incorporation of questions of identity, meaning, agency, and practice alongside those of system, process, and structure. This new edition is an essential reader for students and a thought-provoking assessment of the field for all archaeologists, indigenous peoples, and the concerned lay public.

Theorizing Religions Past

Author : Harvey Whitehouse
ISBN : 0759106215
Genre : History
File Size : 83. 87 MB
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A collection of archaeologists and historians examine the modes of religiosity theory for its usefulness in explaining the origins and history of religions.

Cognitive Archaeology And Human Evolution

Author : Sophie A. de Beaune
ISBN : 9780521769778
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 86. 30 MB
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Cognitive Archaeology and Human Evolution presented new directions in the study of cognitive archaeology. Seeking to understand the conditions that led to the development of a variety of cognitive processes during evolution, it uses evidence from empirical studies and offers theoretical speculations about the evolution of modern thinking as well. The twelve essays, written by an international team of scholars, represent an eclectic array of interests, methods, and theories about evolutionary cognitive archaeology. Collectively, they consider whether the processes in the development of human cognition simply made a better use of anatomical and cerebral structures already in place at the beginning of hominization. They also consider the possibility of an active role of hominoids in their own development and query the impact of hominoid activity in the emergence of new cognitive abilities.

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