The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding

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9780877736424: The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding
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"Knowing how we know" is the subject of this book. Its authors present a new view of cognition that has important social and ethical implications, for, they assert, the only world we humans can have is the one we create together through the actions of our coexistence. Written for a general audience as well as for students, scholars, and scientists and abundantly illustrated with examples from biology, linguistics, and new social and cultural phenomena, this revised edition includes a new afterword by Dr. Varela, in which he discusses the effect the book has had in the years since its first publication.

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Review:

"A refreshing and new approach to cognition--one which has dramatic cultural, social, and ethical ramifications. . . . While stimulating the imagination of readers it has, however, not received the scholarly acclaim it richly deserves."-- Journal of Religion and Psychical Research

"A book with great breadth and ambition . . . In the age of specialization, it is refreshing to come across a book with conceptual breadth and originality."-- Contemporary Psychology

"An important milestone in our current efforts to recognize that science is not value-free, and that fact and value are inevitably tied together."--Morris Berman, author of Coming to Our Senses

"A beautiful and clearly written guide to thought and perception--something that, like life itself, we take for granted but do not understand. The authors were the pioneers and are now the authoritative figures in the science of cognition: their book is rewarding, thorough, and very readable to anyone curious about the mind and the way that it works."--James Lovelock, author of Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth

"The ideas presented in this book are radical and exciting, disturbing and challenging. For the first time we are shown the outlines of a unified scientific conception of mind, matter, and life. The fruits of Maturana and Varela's Tree of Knowledge include the central insight that cognition is not a representation of the world 'out there, ' but rather a 'bringing forth of the world through the process of living itself, ' and the stunningly beautiful conclusion: 'We have only the world that we can bring forth with others, and only love helps bring it forth."--Fritjof Capra, author The Tao of Physics

Synopsis:

With the help of illustrations and examples from biology, linguistics and social and cultural phenomena, this book shows that the process of learning is not a means of knowing an absolute world of facts, but is rather an active process which itself creates the world of human experiences. To convey this, the authors examine cognition in all its facets, exploring topics such as the nature of scientific exploration, the organization of living things, evolution, language and the emergence of self-awareness. The authors maintain that the nature of cognition has important social and ethical consequences, for the only world that we humans can have is one that we bring forth together the action of our coexistence. Written for a general audience, this book invites readers to let go of their preconceptions and gain fresh insights into what it means to be human.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780877733737: Tree of Knowledge: Biological Roots of Human Understanding

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ISBN 10: 0877733732 ISBN 13: 9780877733737
Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc, 1987
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9780877734031: The Tree of Knowledge: Biological Roots of Human Understanding

Shambh..., 1988
Softcover

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