The Imagined World Made Real: Towards a Natural Science of Culture (Penguin Press Science)

 
9780140288308: The Imagined World Made Real: Towards a Natural Science of Culture (Penguin Press Science)

Human beings are fundamentally creatures of culture. The ability to share knowledge, beliefs and skills is the defining characteristic of our species, and one of the most complex phenomena on earth. Our lives are dictated by the products of culture - such as marriage, money, nationhood - and even wars are fought over it. Science itself is a construction of culture and natural sciences are the most powerful forms of knowledge we have: from explanations of the origins of the universe to the molecular structure of life. So can the natural sciences be used to understand culture - or should this be left to the "human sciences": psychology, sociology and anthropology? Here, Henry Plotkin shows that natural science, in particular evolutionary theory, is in fact essential to exploring our culture. He illustrates how nature and nurture have intertwined in the development of human intelligence from its earliest beginnings. And how by fusing the biological and social we can achieve a "natural science of culture": one that reveals human culture as the extension of processes that are actually billions of years old.

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About the Author:

Professor of Psychobiology at University College London, author of two previous Penguins: DARWIN MACHINES AND THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE and EVOLUTION IN MIND.

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