The Long Evolution of Brains and Minds

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9789400796065: The Long Evolution of Brains and Minds
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This book asks, What makes human intelligence unique? Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of the brain's “intelligence centers”, the number of nerve cells in the brain or in such “intelligence centers”? Covers the mind-brain relationship and more.

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On the basis of evolutionary and behavioral biology, neuroscience and anthropology, this book investigates to which extent it is possible to reconstruct the evolution of nervous systems and brains as well as of mental-cognitive abilities, in short “intelligence”, and to which extent we can correlate the one with the other. One central question is, whether or not abilities exist that make humans truly unique, or whether the evolution of the human mind was a gradual process. Exactly which neural features make animals and humans intelligent and creative? Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of “intelligence centers” inside the brains, the number of nerve cells inside the brain in total or in such “intelligence centers” decisive for the degree of intelligence, of mind and eventually consciousness? Which are the driving forces behind these processes?

Here, many different answers exist. For some experts the driving force for brains and minds are the conditions for biological survival: the more complex these conditions, the more effective need to be sense organs, nervous systems and brains, and the stronger is the tendency to an increase in learning abilities, behavioral flexibility and innovation power of animals. This is the ecological intellicence hypothesis. Other authors believe that the true driving force is the challenge from social life of an animal: the more complex the social conditions, the more sophisticated are abilities such as social learning, imitation, empathy, knowledge transfer, consciousness and the development of a theory of mind and meta-cognition. This, again, needs progressive changes inside the brains. This is the social intelligence hypothesis. Again other authors distinguish physical intelligence as a third form of cognitive functions mostly related to tool use, tool fabrication and understanding of the principles of how things work. Finally, some experts believe that the decisive factor in the evolution of brains and minds consisted in an increase in the speed and efficacy of information processing in cognitive brain centers. This is the general intelligence or information processing hypothesis. It is discussed, which of these hypotheses is the most convincing one. At its end, the book deals with the eminent question of whether we can arrive at a naturalistic concept of mind and consciousness. Is it possible to explain mind and intelligence within the framework of the natural science, or do mind and intelligence as found in humans, transcend nature?

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“The author examines in detail the structural/functional differences in the ring nervous systems of Cnidaria, diffuse nerve nets of bilateria, and the complex invertebrate brain of cephalopods (especially octopus), among others. ... This book is highly recommended for anyone with research agendas in comparative neuroscience, evolutionary neuroscience, cognitive science in general, and philosophy of mind.” (Paul Tibbetts, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 88, December, 2013)

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9789400762589: The Long Evolution of Brains and Minds

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ISBN 10:  9400762585 ISBN 13:  9789400762589
Publisher: Springer, 2013
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Book Description Springer, Netherlands, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The main topic of the book is a reconstruction of the evolution of nervous systems and brains as well as of mental-cognitive abilities, in short "intelligence" from simplest organisms to humans. It investigates to which extent the two are correlated. One central topic is the alleged uniqueness of the human brain and human intelligence and mind. It is discussed which neural features make certain animals and humans intelligent and creative: Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of "intelligence centers" inside the brains, the number of nerve cells inside the brain in total or in such "intelligence centers" decisive for the degree of intelligence, of mind and eventually consciousness? And which are the driving forces behind these processes? Finally, it is asked what all this means for the classical problem of mind-brain relationship and for a naturalistic theory of mind. Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2013. Seller Inventory # AAV9789400796065

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Book Description Springer, Netherlands, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The main topic of the book is a reconstruction of the evolution of nervous systems and brains as well as of mental-cognitive abilities, in short "intelligence" from simplest organisms to humans. It investigates to which extent the two are correlated. One central topic is the alleged uniqueness of the human brain and human intelligence and mind. It is discussed which neural features make certain animals and humans intelligent and creative: Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of "intelligence centers" inside the brains, the number of nerve cells inside the brain in total or in such "intelligence centers" decisive for the degree of intelligence, of mind and eventually consciousness? And which are the driving forces behind these processes? Finally, it is asked what all this means for the classical problem of mind-brain relationship and for a naturalistic theory of mind. Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2013. Seller Inventory # AAV9789400796065

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Book Description Springer. Paperback. Condition: New. 320 pages. The main topic of the book is a reconstruction of the evolution of nervous systems and brains as well as of mental-cognitive abilities, in short intelligence from simplest organisms to humans. It investigates to which extent the two are correlated. One central topic is the alleged uniqueness of the human brain and human intelligence and mind. It is discussed which neural features make certain animals and humans intelligent and creative: Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of intelligence centers inside the brains, the number of nerve cells inside the brain in total or in such intelligence centers decisive for the degree of intelligence, of mind and eventually consciousness And which are the driving forces behind these processes Finally, it is asked what all this means for the classical problem of mind-brain relationship and for a naturalistic theory of mind. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9789400796065

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Book Description Springer, Netherlands, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The main topic of the book is a reconstruction of the evolution of nervous systems and brains as well as of mental-cognitive abilities, in short "intelligence" from simplest organisms to humans. It investigates to which extent the two are correlated. One central topic is the alleged uniqueness of the human brain and human intelligence and mind. It is discussed which neural features make certain animals and humans intelligent and creative: Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of "intelligence centers" inside the brains, the number of nerve cells inside the brain in total or in such "intelligence centers" decisive for the degree of intelligence, of mind and eventually consciousness? And which are the driving forces behind these processes? Finally, it is asked what all this means for the classical problem of mind-brain relationship and for a naturalistic theory of mind. Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2013. Seller Inventory # LIE9789400796065

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