Cover image for Evolution of the brain : creation of the self
Title:
Evolution of the brain : creation of the self
Author:
Eccles, John C. (John Carew), Sir, 1903-1997.
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, 1989.
Physical Description:
xv, 282 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780415026000

9780415032247
Format :
Book

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QP376 .E258 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Sir John Eccles, distinguished scientist and Nobel prize winner, tells the story of how we came to be.


Summary

Sir John Eccles, a distinguished scientist and Nobel Prize winner who has devoted his scientific life to the study of the mammalian brain, tells the story of how we came to be, not only as animals at the end of the hominid evolutionary line, but also as human persons possessed of reflective consciousness.


Author Notes

Sir John Eccleshas written many books on the development of the human brain.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Eccles, well known for his Nobel prize-winning research in neurophysiology, has written a compelling book that is really two volumes in one. The first few chapters pertain to the evolution of Homo sapiens from earlier ancestors and neatly summarize the current concepts of human speciation. The remainder of the work is a complex analysis of the evolution of the brain and its relation to the arising of the concept of self. Eccles is a firm adherent of Darwinian evolution with the added belief of a final goal in biological creativity. Oversimplifying for clarity's sake, Eccles indicates that progressively increasing brain performance is a key function in natural selection. Why the brain has increased both morphologically and functionally is the essence of Eccles's research. Linguistic development, data from the study of reproductive and emotional systems, and the recent evidence that humans possessed a cognitive system of observation, abstraction, and documentation some 30,000 years BCE are among the many indications that the human brain continues to dominate human evolution. The conclusion is the certainty that one exists as "a unique self-conscious being," plus the obvious certainty that the material universe exists. An addendum summarizes Eccles's personal views on the whole topic of biological evolution. Some may disagree, but none can fault the magnificent effort to place humans in their proper niche in the universe. Upper-level undergraduates and up. -G. Nicholas, Manhattan College


Choice Review

Eccles, well known for his Nobel prize-winning research in neurophysiology, has written a compelling book that is really two volumes in one. The first few chapters pertain to the evolution of Homo sapiens from earlier ancestors and neatly summarize the current concepts of human speciation. The remainder of the work is a complex analysis of the evolution of the brain and its relation to the arising of the concept of self. Eccles is a firm adherent of Darwinian evolution with the added belief of a final goal in biological creativity. Oversimplifying for clarity's sake, Eccles indicates that progressively increasing brain performance is a key function in natural selection. Why the brain has increased both morphologically and functionally is the essence of Eccles's research. Linguistic development, data from the study of reproductive and emotional systems, and the recent evidence that humans possessed a cognitive system of observation, abstraction, and documentation some 30,000 years BCE are among the many indications that the human brain continues to dominate human evolution. The conclusion is the certainty that one exists as "a unique self-conscious being," plus the obvious certainty that the material universe exists. An addendum summarizes Eccles's personal views on the whole topic of biological evolution. Some may disagree, but none can fault the magnificent effort to place humans in their proper niche in the universe. Upper-level undergraduates and up. -G. Nicholas, Manhattan College


Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgements|-1
Biological evolution
The general story of human evolution
Evolution of hominid brain: bipedality; agility
Linguistic communication in hominid evolution
Cerebral limbic system in relation to the evolution of the reproductive and emotional systems
Visuo-motor evolution: artistic creativity
Evolution of learning and memory
The mind-brain problem in evolution
The self and its brain
The human person
Addendum
References
Subject index and Glossary
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgements|-1
Biological evolution
The general story of human evolution
Evolution of hominid brain: bipedality; agility
Linguistic communication in hominid evolution
Cerebral limbic system in relation to the evolution of the reproductive and emotional systems
Visuo-motor evolution: artistic creativity
Evolution of learning and memory
The mind-brain problem in evolution
The self and its brain
The human person
Addendum
References
Subject index and Glossary