Non-Fiction Books:

Thinking Big

How the Evolution of Social Life Shaped the Human Mind

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Thinking Big by Robin Dunbar
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Description

When and how did the brains of our hominin ancestors become human minds? When and why did our capacity for language or art, music and dance evolve? It is the contention of this pathbreaking and provocative book that it was the need for early humans to live in ever-larger social groups, and to maintain social relations over ever-greater distances - the ability to `think big' - that drove the enlargement of the human brain and the development of the human mind. This `social brain hypothesis', put forward by evolutionary psychologists such as Robin Dunbar, one of the authors of this book, can be tested against archaeological and fossil evidence, as archaeologists Clive Gamble and John Gowlett show in the second part of Thinking Big. Along the way, the three authors touch on subjects as diverse and diverting as the switch from finger-tip grooming to vocal grooming or the crucial importance of making fire for the lengthening of the social day. Ultimately, the social worlds we inhabit today can be traced back to our Stone Age ancestors.

Author Biography

Clive Gamble is a British archaeologist and anthropologist, and Professor of Archaeology at Southampton University. He has been described as the 'UK's foremost archaeologist investigating our earliest ancestors'. John Gowlett is Professor of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at Liverpool University. He is involved in fieldwork in eastern and southern Africa. Robin Dunbar is a British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist specialised in primate behaviour. He is currently head of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. He is best known for formulating Dunbar's number, a measurement of the 'cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships'.
Release date Australia
May 27th, 2014
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
With 57 illustrations
Imprint
Thames & Hudson Ltd
Pages
224
Dimensions
164x239x24
ISBN-13
9780500051801
Product ID
21677671

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