From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

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W. W. Norton & Company, Feb 7, 2017 - Philosophy - 496 pages

"A supremely enjoyable, intoxicating work." —Nature

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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From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Dennett (Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking), co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, combines arguments from philosophy, biology, and informatics to explore ... Read full review

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This is a first class book on the evolution of consciousness and reasoning (thinking about things which is turn lead to insight and learning). While the subject matter is academic and serious, the narrative is engrossing. While accessible to beginners, it definitely does not let up on rigor and academic treatment.
As a professional with interest in the Cognitive Sciences, this was a great introduction to the subject of "Evolution of the Mind"

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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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