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The Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark (Paperback)
  • The Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark (Paperback)
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The Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark (Paperback)

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£14.99
Paperback 320 Pages / Published: 20/08/2015
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Why are we so innovative? Where do new ideas come from? Why are human beings so exceptionally good at innovation, leaving other species mentally in the dust? How can we hold onto new ideas once they are formed? This book explores the claim that the human spark, the source of innovation and the origin of ideas, was an advance that occurred in a particular kind of mental operation, which Turner calls blending. Blending is our ability to take two ideas or more and create a new idea from the "blend." And what is so fascinating is how human beings are able to engage in blending almost without effort and usually unconsciously. It appears to be second nature to us, how we live and breathe in the course of processing information and ideas. Human beings are profoundly different from all other species in this ability. While many species can do what we cannot-fly, run amazingly fast, see in the dark-only human beings can innovate. Beginning somewhere in the Paleolithic Age, everything changed in the course of human events. Before that, we were a bunch of large mammals. After that, we were poised to take over the world. Turner makes the controversial and provocative claim that what made human advances possible was the ability to engage in the virtuosity of blending, which is everywhere apparent in our cultural record-in our creations and innovations-it is the origin of our ideas. Turner's theory of blending is featured in Jonah Lehrer's bestselling book, Imagine, and this book will be the first to lay out this theory in detail for a lay audience and academics tackling the nature of the human brain and the fascinating puzzle of what it means to be human.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190263157
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 434 g
Dimensions: 236 x 160 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Turner makes a cogent and often colorfully argued case for blending's importance as crucial to the development of new ideas and imaginative works." * Publishers Weekly *
Turner probes the nature of creativity. He does apply 'blending' to such complex topics as 'self,' identity,' and 'theory of mind' in a reader-friendly style that encompasses neurobiology, cartoons, Picasso, and Winnie-the-Pooh. Recommended. All readers. * S. Krippner, CHOICE Magazine *
Mark Turner, in his new book The Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark, describes, in a wealth of fascinating detail, his view that humans are innovative and good at creative thinking due to the ability of our brains to blend two or more ideas and create a new idea. Only when evolution gave us brains with this new ability could we make vast cultural advances. . . . While The Origin of Ideas is not a simple book, and the concept of blending is much more sophisticated than it may seem initially, Turner leads the reader step by step, using familiar concepts to enhance understanding of those more complex. If you're intrigued by how creativity happens, this smoothly written volume should be in your collection. * Psychology Today *
Mark Turner should be named poet laureate of cognitive science. In The Origin of Ideas, Turner presents a cognitive science of creative thought using persuasive examples from areas such as cognitive linguistics and neuroscience. He argues how creative thinking, in the form of advanced conceptual blending, underlies human endeavors ranging from ancient sculpture to modern economics. In this manner, Turner profoundly describes a key step in the grand scope of human cognitive development-an achievement he carries out with sparkling clarity and inimitable panache. * D. Fox Harrell, Associate Professor of Digital Media, Comparative Media Studies Program & Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT. *

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