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The Descent of Mind - UK Edition
Michael Corballis (Editor), Stephen E.G. Lea (Editor)

Hardcover - 374 pages (29 January, 1999)
Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0198524196

To most people it seems obvious that there are major mental differences between ourselves and other species, but there is considerable debate over exactly how special our minds are, in what respects, and which were the critical evolutionary events that have shaped us. Some researchers claim language as a solely human, even defining, attribute, while others claim that only humans are truly conscious. These questions have been explored mainly by archaeologists and anthropologists until recently, but this text aims to show what psychologists have to say on the evolution of mind. The book begins with a thorough overview of what is known of the non-primate mind and its evolution. Following this, an international range of experts discuss in temporal sequence the human mind at various stages of evolution, beginning with the pre-hominids of 20 million years ago and ending with contemporary human behaviour.


Ever Since Adam and Eve: The Evolution of Human Sexuality
by Malcolm Potts, Roger Short
Paperback - 365 pages 0 edition (February 1, 1999)
Cambridge Univ Pr (Trd); ISBN: 0521644046 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.07 x 9.70 x 7.50


"Many people have sex in mind a great deal of the time." Authors Malcolm Potts and Roger Short spent more than 15 years trying to understand and explain these passions. While not fully embracing biological determinism--that destiny is simply written in the genes--Potts and Short believe that evolutionary biology can help explain human behavior. In this book they focus on milestones in life's cycle, such as love, marriage, sex, pregnancy, birth, parenting, divorce, and death. Each of these complex behaviors is studied in turn and analyzed for its biological foundations and centuries of cultural modifications. Nearly 100 illustrations lend support to the authors' theories, and dozens of fascinating sidebars go into greater depth about everything from Siamese twins and cloning to wet-nursing and Viagra.

The book is not without its flaws: the authors' belief that most behaviors are biologically based leads them to make sexist conclusions at times--for example, they argue that a woman's interest in sports must primarily stem from a desire to please her man. They also maintain that evolutionary biology can suggest solutions to some of our most difficult problems, without suggesting what these solutions (or, indeed, problems) may be. That said, the authors do an excellent job of teasing out the twisted strands of nature and nurture that make us who we are. Though scholars may find the lack of footnotes frustrating, Ever Since Adam and Eve will pique the interest of educated readers. --C.B. Delaney

Book Description
Human sexual behaviour is a combination of innate behaviour that evolved over the millennia to adapt us to a nomadic, hunter-gatherer lifestyle, overlain by recent cultural constraint imposed by civilization. All societies make rules about who can have sex with whom, and where , and when, and how. Eminent scientists Malcolm Potts and Roger Short attempt to make sense of the present by looking back at the past, to see how and why these cultural constraints on our natural sexual behaviour arose.

Eminent scientists Malcolm Potts and Roger Short view the broad panorama of human sexual and reproductive behaviour to reveal an inextricable mixture of nature and nurture - a combination of innate actions that have evolved over the millennia to adapt us to a nomadic, hunter-gatherer lifestyle, overlain by more recent cultural constraints imposed by civilization. For each of life's milestones - love, marriage, sexual intercourse, pregnancy, birth, puberty, parenting, menopause and death - they describe the biology behind our actions and consider how pressures imposed by various historical and contemporary cultures have further influenced our behaviour. By looking back at ... read more

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Evolutionary Psychology - UK Edition
Leda Cosmides, John Tooby

Hardcover - 64 pages ( 9 September, 1999)
Weidenfeld & Nicolson General; ISBN: 0297643398

This volume in the series "Darwinism Today" is designed as a primer on the burgeoning new field of evolutionary psychology, the attempt to explain our minds in terms of adaptations to our ancestral environment. The authors are at the forefront of research in the field.


The Evolution of Culture : An Interdisciplinary View
by Robin Dunbar (Editor), Chris Knight (Editor), Camilla Power (Editor)

Paperback - 272 pages (September 1999)
Rutgers Univ Press; ISBN: 0813527317 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.61 x 9.19 x 6.20

The Evolution of Culture seeks to explain the origins, evolution and character of human culture, from language, art, music and ritual to the use of technology and the beginnings of social, political and economic behavior. It is concerned not only with where and when human culture evolved, but also asks how and why. The book draws together original contributions by archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists and psychologists. By integrating evolutionary biology with the social sciences, it shows how contemporary evolutionary thinking can inform the study of the peculiarly human phenomenon of culture. The contributors call into question the gulf currently separating the natural from the cultural sciences. Human capacities for culture, they argue, evolved through standard processes of natural and sexual selection and can be properly analyzed as biological adaptations. The Evolution of Culture is fully referenced and indexed and contains a guide to further reading. It is accessibly written and will be sure to appeal to the growing multidisciplinary readership now asking questions about human origins.

About the Author
Robin Dunbar is Professor of Psychology in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool. He is the author of many books, including Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language. Chris Knight is Reader in Anthropology at the University of East London and author of the highly acclaimed and widely debated first book, Blood Relations: Menstruation and the Origins of Culture. Camilla Power is a research student at University College, London.


Introducing Evolutionary Psychology - UK Edition
Dylan Evans, Oscar Zarate (Illustrator)
Paperback - 176 pages ( 7 October, 1999)
Icon Books; ISBN: 1840460431

How did the mind evolve? How does the human mind differ from the minds of our ancestors, and from the minds of our nearest relatives, the apes? If our minds are built by selfish genes, why are we so co-operative? Can the differences between male and female psychology be explained in evolutionary terms? These questions are at the centre of a rapidly growing research programme called evolutionary psychology.

Drawing on the insights of evolutionary biology and cognitive psychology, as well as data from anthropology, primatology and archaeology, evolutionary psychologists are beginning to piece together the first truly scientific account of human nature. Introducing Evolutionary Psychology is the perfect introduction to this exciting new field. Brilliantly and concisely written by Dylan Evans, and superbly illustrated by award-winning artist Oscar Zarate, it offers a fascinating view of the history of the mind.


The Brain and Emotion
by Edmund T. Rolls

Hardcover (February 1999)
Oxford Univ Press; ISBN: 0198524641

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The Evolution of Mind - UK Edition
Denise D. Cummins (Editor), Colin Allen (Editor)
Hardcover - 288 pages (May 1998)
Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0195110536

This volume presents original chapters from major figures working in the fields of evolutionary psychology and epistemology. Each chapter focuses on the evolution of mind and is written so that professionals not in these areas can grasp the import of evolutionary psychology and how it deals with crucial cognitive issues.


Evolutionary Psychology : The New Science of the Mind
by David M. Buss
Hardcover - 416 pages (January 1999)
Allyn & Bacon; ISBN: 0205193587 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.05 x 9.57 x 7.35

This textbook discusses the roots and innovations of the new science of evolutionary psychology, and how it helps us understand such behavioral problems and challenges as survival, sex and mating, parenting and kinship, and group living. It discusses long-term mating strategies of women and men, as well as short-term sexual strategies; aggression and warfare; conflict between the sexes; and status, prestige, and social dominance. Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Synopsis
A comprehensive book on Evolutionary Psychology, with a new perspective on the fascinating puzzles of human nature. Composed of cutting-edge research and featuring an engaging writing style, the book contains stories, media and cultural examples and illustrations, and applications of the personal life of the reader.

From the Back Cover
Composed of cutting-edge research and featuring an engaging writing style, the author offers compelling scientific answers to the profound human questions regarding love and work.

Beginning with a historical introduction, the text logically progresses by discussing adaptive problems humans face and ends with a chapter showing how the new field of evolutionary psychology encompasses all branches of psychology. Each chapter is alive with the subjects that most occupy our minds: sex, mating, getting along, getting ahead, friends, enemies, and social hierarchies. Why is child abuse 40 times more prevalent among step-families than biologically intact families? Why, according to one study, did ... read more

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Evolutionary Principles of Human Adolescence (Lives in Context)
by Glenn Weisfeld

Paperback - 272 pages (May 1999)
Westview Press; ISBN: 0813333180 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.92 x 9.01 x 5.94

Weisfeld (psychology, Wayne State U.) offers a research-based exploration of adolescent development from a functional, evolutionary point of view. His discussion also compares human adolescence with adolescence in other species, and compares adolescence in various human cultures and historical periods.


Secrets of the Mind : A Tale of Discovery and Mistaken Identity
by A. G. Cairns-Smith

(Copernicus) Univ. of Glasgow, UK. Introduction to the central questions of brain science. Discusses moods, feelings, sensations, emotions, and their connection to the physical world; how information is converted into electrochemical signals; origin feelings; and the lack of our understanding of the mind in terms of physics, chemistry, and quantum theory. For clinicians and researchers.


Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language - UK Edition
Robin Dunbar

Paperback - 176 pages (17 March, 1997)
Faber and Faber; ISBN: 0571173977

Arguing that gossiping is vital to a society, and that there is no such thing as "idle" gossip, this book disputes the assumption that language developed in male-male relationships. The author believes that, on the contrary, language evolved among women, and contends that, although men are just as likely to natter as women, women gossip more about other people, thus strengthening the female-female relationships that underpin society.


Why We Feel: The Science of Human Emotion
by Victor S. Johnston

Hardcover - 224 pages (April 1999)
Perseus Books; ISBN: 073820109X ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.97 x 9.53 x 6.31

How did feelings evolve? How do they develop within us? What is their function, their use to us? How does our nervous system implement them?

These four questions, posed in somewhat different form by the Nobel Prize-winning biologist Niko Tinbergen, propel psychologist Victor Johnston's well-crafted examination of human emotions. Drawing on recent advances in psychology, biology, and the cognitive sciences, he looks into such matters as the role of the emotions in psychological well-being ("the failure to develop an early emotional bond with a single caretaker leads to slow development, withdrawal, depression, and a variety of later developing social problems") and the adaptive advantages--or, at times, disadvantages--of such deep-seated inner feelings as envy and joy. Where earlier scientists were much given to exploring the emotions as responses to external stimuli, Johnston shows that "input from the external world is really not necessary for conscious experiences to occur," as experiments in dreams, sensory deprivation, and hallucinations have shown. Instead, he considers the rich inner world of the emotions as a problem of evolutionary theory, a matter of adaptation and response that favors the survival of genes. Johnston's overview of the science of emotions makes for consistently interesting reading, and it points the way to further research. --Gregory McNamee

Publishers Weekly
"The world, according to Johnston...is dramatically different from the way in which any of us experience it....We create all that we sense: the brilliant color of a sunset, the mouthwatering sweetness of a peach, the acrid odor of rotten eggs. All of our sensual abilities, indeed our ability to feel any emotions, are best envisioned as emergent properties of the neural processes in our brain. Sugar, for example, is neither inherently sweet nor satisfying....Johnston does an impressive job of explaining how millions of years of evolution are capable of yielding complex behaviors. He demonstrates that computers are capable of learning ... read more

Book News, Inc.
Johnston (psychobiology, New Mexico State U.-Las Cruces) writes for the serious non-specialist who wants to explore the ways in which, as the author phrases it in his preface, "our conscious experiences depend on the nature of our evolved neural processes and not on the nature of the events in the world that activate those processes." His discussion of the evolution of human feelings draws on a full range of disciplines<-->from computer science, neurobiology, complexity, and evolutionary psychology; his thesis is that feelings evolved like other biological phenomenon to ensure the survival of our genes. --
Copyright © 1999 Book News, ... read more

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Review Articles

'A Civil War in the Mind' by Naomi Gesinger


BuffonReviews and Debates at the New York Review of Books

Oct 22, 1998 Stephen Jay Gould: The Man Who Invented Natural History
Buffon by Jacques Roger and translated by Sarah Lucille Bonnefoi

Oct 22, 1998 R.C. Lewontin: Survival of the Nicest?
Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior by Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson

Jul 16, 1998 Helen Epstein: Life & Death on the Social Ladder
BOOKS DISCUSSED IN THIS ARTICLE
Unto OthersUnhealthy Societies: The Afflictions of Inequality by Richard G. Wilkinson
Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life by Robert Karasek and Töres Theorell
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: A Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping by Robert M. Sapolsky
The Power of Clan: The Influence of Human Relationships on Heart Disease by Stewart Wolf and John G. Bruhn

Jul 16, 1998 Diane Johnson: My Blue Heaven
BOOKS DISCUSSED IN THIS ARTICLE
Raising Baby by the Book: The Education of American Mothers by Julia Grant
Dr. Spock: An American Life by Thomas Maier
Born That WayBaby and Child Care Seventh edition, Benjamin Spock, and Steven Parker
Maybe One: A Personal and Environmental Argument for Single-Child Families by Bill McKibben
Family Man by Calvin Trillin
Born That Way: Genes, Behavior, Personality by William Wright
The War Against Parents: What We Can Do for America's Beleaguered Moms and Dads by Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Cornel West
Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent by Meredith F. Small

May 28, 1998 Steven Mithen: 'The Prehistory of the Mind': An Exchange

Apr 23, 1998 Steve Jones: In the Genetic Toyshop
The Biotech CenturyClone: The Road to Dolly and the Path Ahead by Gina Kolata
The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and remaking the World by Jeremy Rifkin
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge by Edward O. Wilson

Apr 9, 1998 Frank J. Sulloway: Darwinian Virtues
The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation by Matt Ridley

Nov 6, 1997 Steve Jones: The Set Within the Skull
How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

Oct 9, 1997 Howard Gardner: Thinking About Thinking
The Origins of VirtueThe Prehistory of the Mind: The Cognitive Origins of Art, Religion and Science by Steven Mithen

Oct 9, 1997 Steven Pinker: Evolutionary Psychology: An Exchange

Aug 14, 1997 Daniel C. Dennett: 'Darwinian Fundamentalism': An Exchange

Jul 17, 1997 Steve Jones: Go Milk a Fruit Bat!
Why Is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality by Jared Diamond

Jun 26, 1997 Jared Diamond: 'GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL'

The Prehistory of the MindJun 26, 1997 Stephen Jay Gould: Evolution: The Pleasures of Pluralism

Jun 12, 1997 Stephen Jay Gould: Darwinian Fundamentalism

Feb 6, 1997 Steve Jones: Crooked Bones
Unraveling Piltdown: The Science Fraud of the Century and Its Solution by John Evangelist Walsh

Jan 9, 1997 Richard Lewontin: Billions and Billions of Demons
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan

Nov 14, 1996 Jared Diamond: The Roots of Radicalism
Born to RebelBorn to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives by Frank J. Sulloway

May 23, 1996 Richard Lewontin: In the Blood

Apr 4, 1996 Stephen Jay Gould: Why Darwin?
Charles Darwin: Voyaging by Janet Browne

Feb 29, 1996 R.C. Lewontin: The Last of the Nasties?
The Lost World by Michael Crichton

Feb 1, 1996 Noam Chomsky: LANGUAGE AND EVOLUTION

Nov 30, 1995 John Maynard Smith: Genes, Memes, & Minds
Darwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett

Jul 13, 1995 Richard Horton: Is Homosexuality Inherited?
The Sexual Brain by Simon LeVay
The Science of Desire: The Search for the Gay Gene and the Biology of Behavior by Dean Hamer and Peter Copeland

Mar 2, 1995 John Maynard Smith: Life at the Edge of Chaos?
Darwinism Evolving by David J. Depew and Bruce H. Weber

Jan 12, 1995 Jared Diamond: Portrait of the Biologist as a Young Man
Naturalist by Edward O. Wilson

Nov 17, 1994 Alan Ryan: Apocalypse Now?
The Bell CurveThe Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray

Jul 14, 1994 Sarah Blaffer Hrdy: Women Versus the Biologists: An Exchange

Dec 6, 1984 Stephen Toulmin: The Evolution of Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead: A Life by Jane Howard
With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson by Mary Catherine Bateson

Mar 29, 1984 Stephen Jay Gould: Triumph of a Naturalist
A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock by Evelyn Fox Keller

Jan 20, 1983 R.C. Lewontin: The Corpse in the Elevator
Darwinism EvolvingAgainst Biological Determinism Dialectics of Biology Group and edited by Steven Rose
Towards a Liberatory Biology Dialectics of Biology Group and edited by Steven Rose

Apr 15, 1982 Stephen Jay Gould: Will Man Become Obsolete?
The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe by Robert Jastrow

Feb 1963 John Maddocks: Anglo-Saxon Attitudes
The Origin of Races by Carleton S. Coon


Reviews

Malcolm Macmillan, 'Freud Evaluated: The Completed Arc' Reviewed by Frederick Crews
Richard Webster, 'Why Freud Was Wrong' Reviewed by T. J. G. Kendall
Peter Gay 'Freud: A Life for Our Time' Reviewed by Robert M. Young
John Gedo, 'Spleen and Nostalgia: A Life and Work in Psychoanalysis' Reviewed by Douglas Kirsner
Daniel Burston's 'The Wing of Madness' Reviewed by Douglas Kirsner

Review Articles

Nature vs. Nurture: Can't We All Just Get Along?
Moral Relatives by Brian Bruya
Science with Spice by Wendy Smith
Talking About Our Evolution by John J. Miller

Interviews

The Purpose of Understanding - Interview with E. O. Wilson
Going to Pieces With Mark Epstein
What's In Your Head Is In Your Genes - Interview with Dean Hamer
What's So Special About Being Human? - Interview with Ian Tattersall

Mental Health Bestsellers

Depression
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Bestsellers

Top 50 Titles in Evolution
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Top 25 Titles in Science

Online Book Chapters

Victims of Memory by Mark Pendergrast
How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge by Edward O. Wilson
Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences by David Geary

 

 


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