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The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain (Paperback)

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"A work of enormous breadth, likely to pleasantly surprise both general readers and experts."—New York Times Book Review

This revolutionary book provides fresh answers to long-standing questions of human origins and consciousness. Drawing on his breakthrough research in comparative neuroscience, Terrence Deacon offers a wealth of insights into the significance of symbolic thinking: from the co-evolutionary exchange between language and brains over two million years of hominid evolution to the ethical repercussions that followed man's newfound access to other people's thoughts and emotions.

Informing these insights is a new understanding of how Darwinian processes underlie the brain's development and function as well as its evolution. In contrast to much contemporary neuroscience that treats the brain as no more or less than a computer, Deacon provides a new clarity of vision into the mechanism of mind. It injects a renewed sense of adventure into the experience of being human.

About the Author

Terrence W. Deacon is a professor of biological anthropology and neuroscience and the chair of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. The author of The Symbolic Species and Incomplete Nature, he lives near Berkeley, California.

Praise For…

This superb and innovative look at the evolution of language could only have been written by one person . . . Terrence Deacon. An extraordinary achievement!

— David Pilbeam, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

Essential reading for anyone interested in what makes us human.
— Merlin Donald, Professor of Psychology, Queens University, Ontario

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393317541
ISBN-10: 0393317544
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: April 17th, 1998
Pages: 528
Language: English