From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

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W. W. Norton & Company, Feb 7, 2017 - Philosophy - 448 pages
5 Reviews

“[The] best scientific-philosophical approach to understanding how consciousness evolved.… A wonderful book that will shape and drive thinking for years to come.”—Shane O’Mara, Times Higher Education

How did we come to have minds? For centuries, poets, philosophers, psychologists, and physicists have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled abilities. Disciples of Darwin have explained how natural selection produced plants, but what about the human mind?

In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, Daniel C. Dennett builds on recent discoveries from biology and computer science to show, step by step, how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. A crucial shift occurred when humans developed the ability to share memes, or ways of doing things not based in genetic instinct. Competition among memes produced thinking tools powerful enough that our minds don’t just perceive and react, they create and comprehend.

An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers and scientists, From Bacteria to Bach and Back will delight and entertain all those curious about how the mind works.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DLMorrese - LibraryThing

The title of this book implies a journey, and that's what it feels like...a long, twisty one with diversions to view the scenery, most of which, frankly, is rather dull. Along the way we're supposed ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wdwilson3 - LibraryThing

There are excellent insights and ideas in this book, sometimes obscured by the author's meandering style and academic presentation. At one point, he laments the current lack of inspired communicators ... Read full review

Contents

List of Illustrations
Before Bacteria and Bach
On the Origin of Reasons
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Daniel C. Dennett is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University and the author of numerous books including Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, Breaking the Spell, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, and Consciousness Explained.

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