The Evolution of Consciousness: Of Darwin, Freud, and Cranial Fire: The Origins of the Way We Think

Robert E. Ornstein, Author Prentice Hall $25 (305p) ISBN 978-0-13-587569-8
Ornstein's revision of Darwinian evolution posits that brain circuits designed to help early hominids get a quick fix on reality and guide action were later recruited to make complex mental judgments. The result, he claims, is the modern mind--a disunified jumble, far more emotional than rational, with the self playing a small, isolated role. Ornstein ( The Psychology of Consciousness ) asserts that we're much more primitive in our feelings than even Freud maintained. If he is correct, the tribal mind geared to adaptations when the world was relatively stable still persists. Further, this tribal mind is grossly inequipped to deal with our fast-changing century in which the key survival cirses are much more collective than individual in nature. Ornstein urges consciously re-directed evolution, starting with a new altruism. His elegantly written, challenging inquiry is enlivened by scores of amusing or intriguing drawings which lighten the presentation. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1828-3
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-671-79224-4
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