The Creative Spark

How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional

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Author: Agustin Fuentes

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101983949

Category: HISTORY

Page: 340

View: 8263

The Creative Spark overturns widely held misconceptions about race, war and peace, and human nature itself, providing a profoundly new answer to an age old question: what made humans so exceptional among all the species on earth? In this in-depth and fascinating exploration of creativity, Agustin Fuentes shows how imagination now is much the same as it was in the time of our ancient ancestors, and that, when combined with collaboration, humans are capable of anything. Indeed, imagination and collaboration are inseparable.

The Creative Spark

How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional

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Author: Agustín Fuentes

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101983957

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 3790

A bold new synthesis of paleontology, archaeology, genetics, and anthropology that overturns misconceptions about race, war and peace, and human nature itself, answering an age-old question: What made humans so exceptional among all the species on Earth? Creativity. It is the secret of what makes humans special, hiding in plain sight. Agustín Fuentes argues that your child's finger painting comes essentially from the same place as creativity in hunting and gathering millions of years ago, and throughout history in making war and peace, in intimate relationships, in shaping the planet, in our communities, and in all of art, religion, and even science. It requires imagination and collaboration. Every poet has her muse; every engineer, an architect; every politician, a constituency. The manner of the collaborations varies widely, but successful collaboration is inseparable from imagination, and it brought us everything from knives and hot meals to iPhones and interstellar spacecraft. Weaving fascinating stories of our ancient ancestors' creativity, Fuentes finds the patterns that match modern behavior in humans and animals. This key quality has propelled the evolutionary development of our bodies, minds, and cultures, both for good and for bad. It's not the drive to reproduce; nor competition for mates, or resources, or power; nor our propensity for caring for one another that have separated us out from all other creatures. As Fuentes concludes, to make something lasting and useful today you need to understand the nature of your collaboration with others, what imagination can and can't accomplish, and, finally, just how completely our creativity is responsible for the world we live in. Agustín Fuentes's resounding multimillion-year perspective will inspire readers—and spark all kinds of creativity.

Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You

Busting Myths about Human Nature

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Author: Agustín Fuentes

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520951670

Category: Social Science

Page: 290

View: 7719

There are three major myths of human nature: humans are divided into biological races; humans are naturally aggressive; men and women are truly different in behavior, desires, and wiring. In an engaging and wide-ranging narrative Agustín Fuentes counters these pervasive and pernicious myths about human behavior. Tackling misconceptions about what race, aggression, and sex really mean for humans, Fuentes incorporates an accessible understanding of culture, genetics, and evolution requiring us to dispose of notions of "nature or nurture." Presenting scientific evidence from diverse fields, including anthropology, biology, and psychology, Fuentes devises a myth-busting toolkit to dismantle persistent fallacies about the validity of biological races, the innateness of aggression and violence, and the nature of monogamy and differences between the sexes. A final chapter plus an appendix provide a set of take-home points on how readers can myth-bust on their own. Accessible, compelling, and original, this book is a rich and nuanced account of how nature, culture, experience, and choice interact to influence human behavior.

Human Evolution

Trails from the Past

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Author: Camilo J. Cela-Conde,Francisco J. Ayala

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198567804

Category: Nature

Page: 437

View: 9990

This book is intended as a comprehensive overview of hominid evolution, synthesising data and approaches from physical anthropology, genetics, archaeology, psychology and philosophy. Human evolution courses are now widespread and this book has the potential to satisfy the requirements of most, particularly at the advanced undergraduate and graduate level. It is based on a translation, albeit with substantial modification, of a successful Spanish language book.

The Arts and the Creation of Mind

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Author: Elliot W. Eisner

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300105117

Category: Art

Page: 258

View: 8497

Learning in and through the visual arts can develop complex and subtle aspects of the mind. Reviews in: Journal of aesthetic education. 38(2004)4(Winter. 71-98), available M05-194.

Conversations on Human Nature

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Author: Agustín Fuentes,Aku Visala

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315431521

Category: Social Science

Page: 325

View: 4019

Recent empirical and philosophical research into the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens, the origins of the mind/brain, and the development of human culture has sparked heated debates about what it means to be human and how knowledge about humans from the sciences and humanities should be understood. Conversations on Human Nature, featuring 20 interviews with leading scholars in biology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and theology, brings these debates to life for teachers, students, and general readers. The book-outlines the basic scientific, philosophical and theological issues involved in understanding human nature;-organizes material from the various disciplines under four broad headings: (1) evolution, brains and human nature; (2) biocultural human nature; (3) persons, minds and human nature, (4) religion, theology and human nature; -concludes with Fuentes and Visala's discussion of what researchers into human nature agree on, what they disagree on, and what we need to learn to resolve those differences.

The Knowledge Illusion

Why We Never Think Alone

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Author: Steven Sloman,Philip Fernbach

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0399184341

Category: Psychology

Page: 304

View: 3557

“The Knowledge Illusion is filled with insights on how we should deal with our individual ignorance and collective wisdom.” —Steven Pinker We all think we know more than we actually do. Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don’t even know how a pen or a toilet works. How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us. We’re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads: in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact—and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it. The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know more than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individual-oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail. But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things. The Knowledge Illusion contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the community around us.

Madumo, a Man Bewitched

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Author: Adam Ashforth

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226029727

Category: History

Page: 255

View: 8759

In a true story of a man bewitched, set against the turbulent backdrop of contemporary Soweto, Ashforth shows that witchcraft is not simply superstition but a complex response to spiritual insecurity in a troubling time of political and economic upheaval.

The Evolution of Imagination

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Author: Stephen T. Asma

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022622516X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 327

View: 2659

Consider Miles Davis, horn held high, sculpting a powerful musical statement full of tonal patterns, inside jokes, and thrilling climactic phrases—all on the fly. Or think of a comedy troupe riffing on a couple of cues from the audience until the whole room is erupting with laughter. Or maybe it’s a team of software engineers brainstorming their way to the next Google, or the Einsteins of the world code-cracking the mysteries of nature. Maybe it’s simply a child playing with her toys. What do all of these activities share? With wisdom, humor, and joy, philosopher Stephen T. Asma answers that question in this book: imagination. And from there he takes us on an extraordinary tour of the human creative spirit. Guided by neuroscience, animal behavior, evolution, philosophy, and psychology, Asma burrows deep into the human psyche to look right at the enigmatic but powerful engine that is our improvisational creativity—the source, he argues, of our remarkable imaginational capacity. How is it, he asks, that a story can evoke a whole world inside of us? How are we able to rehearse a skill, a speech, or even an entire scenario simply by thinking about it? How does creativity go beyond experience and help us make something completely new? And how does our moral imagination help us sculpt a better society? As he shows, we live in a world that is only partly happening in reality. Huge swaths of our cognitive experiences are made up by “what-ifs,” “almosts,” and “maybes,” an imagined terrain that churns out one of the most overlooked but necessary resources for our flourishing: possibilities. Considering everything from how imagination works in our physical bodies to the ways we make images, from the mechanics of language and our ability to tell stories to the creative composition of self-consciousness, Asma expands our personal and day-to-day forms of imagination into a grand scale: as one of the decisive evolutionary forces that has guided human development from the Paleolithic era to today. The result is an inspiring look at the rich relationships among improvisation, imagination, and culture, and a privileged glimpse into the unique nature of our evolved minds.

The Gap

The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals

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Author: Thomas Suddendorf

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465069843

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 8730

There exists an undeniable chasm between the capacities of humans and those of animals, but what exactly is the difference between our minds and theirs? In The Gap, psychologist Thomas Suddendorf provides a definitive account of what makes human minds unique and how this disparity arose. He proposes that two innovations account for all of the ways in which our minds appear so distinct: our open-ended ability to imagine and reflect, and our insatiable drive to link our minds together. It is not language or morality that set us apart, but the ability to consider a range of scenarios, real and imagined, past and future. A provocative argument for reconsidering our place in nature, The Gap is essential reading for anyone interested in our evolutionary origins and our relationship with the rest of the animal kingdom.

Emergent Warfare in Our Evolutionary Past

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Author: Nam C Kim,Marc Kissel

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351365770

Category: Social Science

Page: 234

View: 8658

Why do we fight? Have we always been fighting one another? This book examines the origins and development of human forms of organized violence from an anthropological and archaeological perspective. Kim and Kissel argue that human warfare is qualitatively different from forms of lethal, intergroup violence seen elsewhere in the natural world, and that its emergence is intimately connected to how humans evolved and to the emergence of human nature itself.

The Dependent Gene

The Fallacy of "Nature Vs. Nurture"

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Author: David S. Moore

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780805072808

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 9661

Provides an analysis of the nature vs. nuture debate, arguing for an end to the "either/or" nature of the discussions in favor of a recognition that environmental and genetic factors interact throughout life to form human traits.

Darwin's Unfinished Symphony

How Culture Made the Human Mind

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Author: Kevin N. Laland

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 069118447X

Category: Science

Page: 450

View: 4454

Humans possess an extraordinary capacity for culture, from the arts and language to science and technology. But 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 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.

The Creativity Question

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Author: Albert Rothenberg,Carl R. Hausman

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822303541

Category: Psychology

Page: 366

View: 4555

Albert Rothenberg, a psychiatrist, and Carl R. Hausman, a philosopher, have prepared a truly comprehensive interdisciplinary book of readings on creativity. This group of selections from the works of writers in psychiatry, philosophy, psychology, psychoanalysis, and education brings together, for the first time, major theoretical works, outstanding empirical findings, and discussions of the definition and nature of creativity. The organization of The Creativity Question is unique: it illustrates the various approaches and basic assumptions underlying studies of creativity throughout the course of history up to the present time. The main body of selections appears under the categories of descriptions, attempts at explanation, and alternate approaches. As specific orientations to creativity can be traced to particular initiating thinkers and investigators, there is a special chapter on seminal accounts containing selections from the works of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Galton, and Freud. Another chapter includes recent illustrations of special types of exploratory trends: creativity of women, brain research, synectics, extrasensory perception, behaviorism, and creativity computer programming. This organization highlights the tension between strictly scientific accounts and alternative approaches offering new ways of understanding. The editors have provided for the books as a whole and for each chapter explanation and discussion of the basic issues raised by the various approaches to creativity.

Biological Anthropology

Concepts and Connections

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Author: Agustin Fuentes

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education

ISBN: 0077432967

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 1142

Evolution of Human Behavior

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Author: Agustin Fuentes

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195333596

Category: Science

Page: 300

View: 2718

"Author Agustin Fuentes incorporates recent innovations in evolutionary theory with emerging perspectives from genomic approaches, the current fossil record, and ethnographic studies. He examines basic assumptions about why humans behave as they do, the facts of human evolution, patterns of evolutionary change in a global environmental-temporal context, and the interconnected roles of cooperation and conflict in human history. The net result is a text that moves toward a more holistic understanding of the patterns of human evolution and a more integrated perspective on the evolution of human behavior."--BOOK JACKET.

Strategic Intuition

The Creative Spark in Human Achievement

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Author: William Duggan

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231142687

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 208

View: 1962

"This book will be the first to introduce formally, authoritatively, and convincingly the notion of strategic intuition to the business and finance communities. All strategic leaders can benefit immensely from it.--Douglas C. Lovelace, Senior National Security Strategist.

Becoming Human

Innovation in Prehistoric Material and Spiritual Culture

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Author: Colin Renfrew,Iain Morley

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521876540

Category: Social Science

Page: 282

View: 9197

In this volume, fifteen internationally renowned scholars contribute essays that explore the relationship between symbolism, spirituality, and humanity in the prehistoric societies of Europe and traditional societies elsewhere.

Processes in Human Evolution

The journey from early hominins to Neanderthals and modern humans

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Author: Francisco J. Ayala,Camilo J. Cela-Conde

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191060453

Category: Science

Page: 536

View: 544

The discoveries of the last decade have brought about a completely revised understanding of human evolution due to the recent advances in genetics, palaeontology, ecology, archaeology, geography, and climate science. Written by two leading authorities in the fields of physical anthropology and molecular evolution, Processes in Human Evolution presents a reconsidered overview of hominid evolution, synthesising data and approaches from a range of inter-disciplinary fields. The authors pay particular attention to population migrations - since these are crucial in understanding the origin and dispersion of the different genera and species in each continent - and to the emergence of the lithic cultures and their impact on the evolution of cognitive capacities. Processes in Human Evolution is intended as a primary textbook for university courses on human evolution, and may also be used as supplementary reading in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses. It is also suitable for a more general audience seeking a readable but up-to-date and inclusive treatment of human origins and evolution.