Geary holds that folk psychology has many 'anchors' that orient the human organism towards fundamental activities to sustain itself, e. These anchors are shaped in development under evolutionary imperatives. Much of the book is devoted to teasing out in detail the framework that allows this to occur.
The notion of a fluid intelligence is introduced to debnk the g factor as too limitinf a construct and explain adaptive behaviours. Each chapter deserves a review by itself. Overall, the book is tremendously impressive and detailed however, it still faces to problem of splicing folk psychological concepts with neuroscientific data, and it is here that most critics will focus there attention.
Geary has assemled a welther of piece sof evidence and argumentation to make this work, but eliminativtists will not be satisfied. Having read this book quickly, I can state baldly that it is the first book in years that I will reread. Lots of food for thought. February 15, - Published on Amazon.
I purchased this book based on my professional and personal interests and the positive reviews on Amazon. I am a practicing psychiatrist with a research background in neurophysiology and a longstanding interest in the origin of the human mind and the nature of consciousness. This is an exploding area in neuroscience and Dr. Geary's efforts to bring the latest developments in evolutionary theory to bear in a comprehensive review are admirable.
Here are the points I found most interesting. The human mind is unique in it's ability to create a sense of self which is stable over time and capable of utilizing past memories of self to generate behaviors likely to produce a desirable imagined future a mental time machine. Human evolution was not driven so much by climatic or ecological change as by the need for different human tribes and subspecies to compete for and defend available ecological nitches. This produced brain systems supporting complex social behavior, abstract reasoning, the use of tools, and verbal communication.
It also resulted in what the author calls an "evolutionary arms race". Read: evolution favored a war-like species capable of forming powerful inter-group attachments and loyalties and deeply rooted hostilities toward outside groups defined by geographic, racial, and cultural and I would add religious boundaries. Does this ring a bell as you read the newspaper? However, unless you are a professional evolutionary neurobiologist, be warned.
The task of diving for valuable pearls and they are there in this book is formidable. There is excessive use of undefined jargon. The organization is poor.
Sections headings are uninformative. The badly needed glossary is simply absent. GEARY is a cognitive developmental psychologist with interests in mathematical learning and in evolution. After receiving his Ph. He has published nearly than articles and chapters across a wide range of topics, including cognitive and developmental psychology, education, evolutionary biology, and medicine, including three sole-authored books, Children's Mathematical Development , Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences , and The Origin of Mind: Evolution of Brain, Cognition, and General Intelligence , and one co-authored book, Sex Differences: Summarizing More Than a Century of Scientific Research Ellis et al.
He has given invited addresses in a variety of departments anthropology, biology, behavior genetics, computer science, education, government, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, and psychology and Universities throughout the United States, as well as in Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, and Portugal.
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