Spring 2017 Books by Princeton University Press

More catalogs by Princeton University Press | Spring 2017 Books | 148 pages | 2018-09-24


Page 49 of Spring 2017 Books

darwin’s unfinished symphony how culture made the human mind kevin n laland humans possess an extraordinary capacity for cultural production from the arts and language to science and technology how did the human mind—and the uniquely human ability to devise and transmit culture—evolve from its roots in animal behavior darwin’s unfinished symphony presents a captivating new theory of human cognitive evolution this compelling and accessible book reveals how culture is not just the magnificent end product of an evolutionary process that produced a species unlike all others—it is also the key driving force behind that process kevin laland shows how the learned and socially transmitted activities of our ancestors shaped our intellects through accelerating cycles of evolutionary feedback the truly unique characteristics of our species—such as our intelligence language teaching and cooperation—are not adaptive responses to predators disease or other external conditions rather humans are creatures of their own making drawing on his own groundbreaking research and bringing it to life with vivid natural history laland explains how animals imitate innovate and have remarkable traditions of their own he traces our rise from scavenger apes in prehistory to modern humans able to design iphones dance the tango and send astronauts into space this book tells the story of the painstaking fieldwork the key experiments the false leads and the stunning scientific breakthroughs that led to this new understanding of how culture transformed human evolution it is the story of how darwin’s intellectual descendants picked up where he left off and took up the challenge of providing a scientific account of the evolution of the human mind how culture transformed human evolution “kevin laland is one of the pioneers in the modern study of cultural evolution darwin’s unfinished symphony draws on his large and important body of work showing how culture— socially transmitted knowledge—is what has made humans so successful as a species.” —robert boyd coauthor of not by genes alone how culture transformed human evolution kevin n laland is professor of behavioral and evolutionary biology at the university of st andrews his books include social learning an introduction to mechanisms methods and models and niche construction the neglected process in evolution both princeton march 978-0-691-15118-2 cloth $35.00s 480 pages 11 halftones 2 line illus 6 x 9 biology evolution press.princeton.edu academic trade 47