The Evolution of Human Cleverness (Paperback)
  • The Evolution of Human Cleverness (Paperback)
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The Evolution of Human Cleverness (Paperback)

(author)
£35.99
Paperback 268 Pages
Published: 02/05/2022
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The Evolution of Human Cleverness presents a unique introduction to the way human cognitive abilities have evolved. The book comprises a series of mini-essays on distinct topics in which technical terms are simplified, considering how humans made the long journey from our ape-like ancestors to become capable of higher-level reasoning and problem solving.

All the topics are cross-linked, allowing the reader to dip in and out, but certain key concepts run through the underlying reasoning. Chiefly, these are adaptation and selection, the distinction between ultimate and proximate causes of behaviour, gene–culture co-evolution, and domain-general versus domain-specific cognitive processes. The book should help the reader draw lessons for the human species as a whole, especially in view of the environmental threats to its own existence.

Entries have been carefully crafted to cut through scientific jargon, providing bite-sized and digestible chunks of knowledge, making the topic accessible for students and lay readers alike. The author draws on research from diverse fields including Psychology, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, and Neuroscience to provide an unbiased account of the field, making it an ideal text for students of all levels.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
ISBN: 9780367761035
Number of pages: 268
Weight: 540 g
Dimensions: 246 x 174 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'Prof. Hallam has written a unique and most interesting book on evolution. What is unique about this book is the psychological perspective applied to help us understand modern human evolution. In addition to traditional genetic and anatomical topics Hallam helps us understand how human evolution has been shaped by social and psychological processes from early hominins to the present. His introduction to the human characteristic of cleverness and its development in the context of multiple evolutionary processes is both unique and brilliant. The text consists of 81 relatively brief and interesting sections on topics that can be read in nearly any order to form a meaningful Gestalt or mosaic without over-taxing the reader’s ability to attend, comprehend, or focus. The book is most informative and is a pleasure to read without requiring any special knowledge or background.'Glenn Shean, PhD, Professor of Psychology Emeritus, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA'The book is a panoramic and comprehensive survey of contemporary knowledge and debate on the subject of the evolution of human cleverness. Its content is structured in encyclopaedic fashion, with entries covering the topic from multiple perspectives. The style is lucid and concise, guiding the reader in masterly fashion through a complex maze of theory, fact, and speculation. The book offers the reader a rich, worthwhile, and illuminating voyage.'Ariel Stravynski, Professeur Honoraire, Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Canada'Ever wonder what makes humans so clever? Read this book and you’ll find out. It tells the evolutionary story of how our abilities emerge, what they enable us to do and how our cleverness is now impacting the whole planet. The question is: Can we use our cleverness to solve the problems we have created for ourselves in time to preserve our fragile world? Richard Hallam's book details the tools we have at our disposal, we just need to use them. A marvellous book, highly recommended.'Freddy Jackson Brown, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, North Bristol NHS Trust Associate Fellow, Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal, and Research, University of Warwick'As in his other books, Hallam’s talent is in making clear how things are complex. This is not to say that we are missing the juice of the matter, or that the picture is confused: On the contrary, in this book one can find clearly set out strong proposals concerning all we can reasonably know about human cleverness but, fortunately, one can also find all we don’t know about it, and all we can’t probably know.'Adriano Bugliani, PhD, Assistant Professor, History of Philosophy, University of Firenze, Italy

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