The Long Evolution of Brains and Minds

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jun 3, 2013 - Nature - 320 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

Are Mind and Brain a Unity?
1
2 Mind and Intelligence
6
3 What Is Evolution?
25
4 The Mind Begins with Life
39
5 The Language of Neurons
49
Successful Life without a Nervous System
69
7 The Invertebrates and Their Nervous Systems
78
8 Invertebrate Cognition and Intelligence
107
The Coupling between Brain and Environment
164
12 How Intelligent Are Vertebrates?
193
13 Do Animals Have Consciousness?
209
14 Comparing Vertebrate Brains
223
15 Are Humans Unique?
243
16 Determinants of the Evolution of Brains and Minds
265
17 Brains and Minds
282
Literature
299

9 The Deuterostomia
117
10 The Brains of Vertebrates
131

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