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Figments of Reality By Ian Stewart

Figments of Reality
by Ian Stewart

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£7.49
Bestselling authors Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen return with an exhilarating and entertaining exploration of how mind, language and culture evolved. Providing a fresh outlook on these topical questions, they develop new and intriguing insights into the nature of evolution, science and humanity.
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Figments of Reality Summary


Figments of Reality: The Evolution of the Curious Mind by Ian Stewart

Is the universe around us a figment of our imagination? Or are our minds figments of reality? In this refreshing new look at the evolution of mind and culture, bestselling authors Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen eloquently argue that our minds necessarily evolved inextricably within the context of culture and language. They go beyond conventional reductionist ideas to look at how the mind is the response of an evolving brain trying to grapple with a complex environment. Along the way they develop new and intriguing insights into the nature of evolution, science and humanity.

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Figments of Reality Reviews


Review of the hardback: 'One of the most heartening and innovative books of the year.' John Cornwell, The Sunday Times '[A] provocative, ambitious and enjoyable attempt to ask and answer some of the most interesting Big Questions of modern science and philosophy.' New Scientist
'Stewart and Cohen assault ... all the big questions with gleeful expedition. Figments questions our placidly received wisdom ... is frighteningly readable.' Henry Gee, Nature
'Sparkling science.' Graham Cairns-Smith, author of Evolving the Mind
'The reviewer is certain that everyone will enjoy sharing this journey into the mind, and that they will learn much background science, too.' Irish Astronomical Journal
'The good thing about these two authors is that they are not interested in providing an easy read. They tend to challenge the reader's preconceptions. It is a bumpy ride but always stimulating.' Chris Boyce, The Herald (Glasgow)
'The good thing about these two authors is that they are not interested in providing an easy read. They tend to challenge the reader's preconceptions. It is a bumpy ride but always stimulating.' Chris Boyce, The Herald (Glasgow)
' ... a stimulating and entertaining read.' Biologist
' ... certainly an impressive and significant work. [The authors] have a refreshingly original approach to science. The book is written with a wry humour that carries the reader along. Academics usually write impenetrably; Steward and Cohen's delightful style enables them to explain complex issues in science to the non-specialist.' David V. Barrett, Fortean Times
'The reviewer is certain that everyone will enjoy sharing this journey into the mind, and that they will learn much background science, too.' Irish Astronomical Journal'
'A stimulating theory of how mind, consciousness, and culture have coevolved to create our species by two masters of informed, scientific speculation. Try it, and even if you don't like it you'll learn a lot. Who could ask for more?' John L. Casti
' ... a stimulating and entertaining read.' Biologist
'I would recommend this book for anyone with an interest in events beyond our daily lives.' Rosalind Ramsey, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
"One of the most heartening and innovative books of the year...This kind of book explodes the notion of the imminent and final theory of everything; by the same token, it shows that the death of science has been greatly exaggerated." The Sunday Times of London
"[The authors] are witty, erudite, clever, and generally clear-headed in this rationalist's view of the universe and human evolution...delightful..." Library Journal
"It analyzes the evolution of mankind's consciousness from a new and intriguing perspective. It argues that the mind evolved in the context of culture and language, aiding survival in a complex and competitive world." Biology Digest
"The most thought-provoking book I've read all year." Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series
"A stimulating theory of how mind, consciousness, and culture have coevolved to create our species by two masters of informed, scientific speculation. Try it...you'll learn a lot. Who could ask for more?" John L. Casti, Santa Fe Institute and Technical University of Vienna, author of Would-Be Worlds
"Figments of Reality is highly recommended for college-level collections and any non-specialist general reader." Bookwatch
"A delightful read that is excellent for academic collections and general collections with a highly literate readership." Mark L. Shelton, Library Journal
"Stewart and Cohen show how intelligence and extelligence interact by way of language and how the end product formulates culture...the authors are quick-witted and provide a lively exposition." Science News
"While the subject matter is rather heady, the authors are quickwitted and provide a lively exposition." Science News Books
"It analyzes the evolution of mankind's consciousness from a new and intriguing perspective. It argues that the mind evolved in the context of culture and language, aiding survival in a complex and competitive world." Biology Digest

Table of Contents


Preface; Prologue; 1. The origins of life; 2. The reductionist nightmare; 3. Ant country; 4. Winning ways; 5. Universals and parochials; 6. Neural nests; 7. Features great and small; 8. What is it like to be a human?; 9. We wanted to have a chapter on free will, but we decided not to, so here it is; 10. Extelligence; 11. Simplex, complex, multiplex; Epilogue; Notes; Further reading; Index.

Additional information

GOR001213354
Figments of Reality: The Evolution of the Curious Mind by Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Cambridge University Press
1997-07-28
340
0521571553
9780521571555
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.