How Things Shape the Mind

Author: Lambros Malafouris
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262019194
Release Date: 2013-07-12
Genre: Psychology

An account of the different ways in which things have become cognitive extensions of the human body, from prehistory to the present.

How Things Shape the Mind

Author: Lambros Malafouris
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262315678
Release Date: 2013-07-12
Genre: Psychology

An increasingly influential school of thought in cognitive science views the mind as embodied, extended, and distributed rather than brain-bound or "all in the head." This shift in perspective raises important questions about the relationship between cognition and material culture, posing major challenges for philosophy, cognitive science, archaeology, and anthropology. In How Things Shape the Mind, Lambros Malafouris proposes a cross-disciplinary analytical framework for investigating the ways in which things have become cognitive extensions of the human body. Using a variety of examples and case studies, he considers how those ways might have changed from earliest prehistory to the present. Malafouris's Material Engagement Theory definitively adds materiality -- the world of things, artifacts, and material signs -- into the cognitive equation. His account not only questions conventional intuitions about the boundaries and location of the human mind but also suggests that we rethink classical archaeological assumptions about human cognitive evolution.

How Things Shape the Mind

Author: Lambros Malafouris
Publisher:
ISBN: 0262528924
Release Date: 2016-01-12
Genre: Medical

An increasingly influential school of thought in cognitive science views the mind as embodied, extended, and distributed rather than brain-bound or "all in the head." This shift in perspective raises important questions about the relationship between cognition and material culture, posing major challenges for philosophy, cognitive science, archaeology, and anthropology. In How Things Shape the Mind, Lambros Malafouris proposes a cross-disciplinary analytical framework for investigating the ways in which things have become cognitive extensions of the human body. Using a variety of examples and case studies, he considers how those ways might have changed from earliest prehistory to the present. Malafouris's Material Engagement Theory definitively adds materiality -- the world of things, artifacts, and material signs -- into the cognitive equation. His account not only questions conventional intuitions about the boundaries and location of the human mind but also suggests that we rethink classical archaeological assumptions about human cognitive evolution.

The Material Life of Human Beings

Author: Michael Brian Schiffer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134637249
Release Date: 2002-01-22
Genre: Social Science

In this ground-breaking work, the distinguished anthropological theorist, Michael Brian Schiffer, presents a profound challenge to the social sciences. Through a broad range of examples, he demonstrates how theories of behaviour and communication have too often ignored the fundamental importance of objects in human life. In The Material Life of Human Beings, the author builds upon the premise that the most important feature of human life is not language but the relationships which take place between people and objects. The author shows that artifacts are involved in all modes of human communication - be they visual, auditory or tactile. By creatively folding elements of postmodernist thought into a scientific framework, he creates new concepts and models for understanding and analysing communication and behavior. Challenging established theories within the social sciences, Michael Brian Schiffer offers a reassessment of the centrality of materiality to everyday life.

The New Science of the Mind

Author: Mark Rowlands
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262288941
Release Date: 2010-08-13
Genre: Philosophy

There is a new way of thinking about the mind that does not locate mental processes exclusively "in the head." Some think that this expanded conception of the mind will be the basis of a new science of the mind. In this book, leading philosopher Mark Rowlands investigates the conceptual foundations of this new science of the mind. The new way of thinking about the mind emphasizes the ways in which mental processes are embodied (made up partly of extraneural bodily structures and processes), embedded (designed to function in tandem with the environment), enacted (constituted in part by action), and extended (located in the environment). The new way of thinking about the mind, Rowlands writes, is actually an old way of thinking that has taken on new form. Rowlands describes a conception of mind that had its clearest expression in phenomenology -- in the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. He builds on these views, clarifies and renders consistent the ideas of embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended mind, and develops a unified philosophical treatment of the novel conception of the mind that underlies the new science of the mind.

The Encultured Brain

Author: Daniel H. Lende
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262304740
Release Date: 2012-08-24
Genre: Medical

The brain and the nervous system are our most cultural organs. Our nervous system is especially immature at birth, our brain disproportionately small in relation to its adult size and open to cultural sculpting at multiple levels. Recognizing this, the new field of neuroanthropology places the brain at the center of discussions about human nature and culture. Anthropology offers brain science more robust accounts of enculturation to explain observable difference in brain function; neuroscience offers anthropology evidence of neuroplasticity's role in social and cultural dynamics. This book provides a foundational text for neuroanthropology, offering basic concepts and case studies at the intersection of brain and culture. After an overview of the field and background information on recent research in biology, a series of case studies demonstrate neuroanthropology in practice. Contributors first focus on capabilities and skills -- including memory in medical practice, skill acquisition in martial arts, and the role of humor in coping with breast cancer treatment and recovery -- then report on problems and pathologies that range from post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans to smoking as a part of college social life. ContributorsMauro C. Balieiro, Kathryn Bouskill, Rachel S. Brezis, Benjamin Campbell, Greg Downey, José Ernesto dos Santos, William W. Dressler, Erin P. Finley, Agustín Fuentes, M. Cameron Hay, Daniel H. Lende, Katherine C. MacKinnon, Katja Pettinen, Peter G. Stromberg

Making

Author: Tim Ingold
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136763670
Release Date: 2013-04-12
Genre: Social Science

Making creates knowledge, builds environments and transforms lives. Anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture are all ways of making, and all are dedicated to exploring the conditions and potentials of human life. In this exciting book, Tim Ingold ties the four disciplines together in a way that has never been attempted before. In a radical departure from conventional studies that treat art and architecture as compendia of objects for analysis, Ingold proposes an anthropology and archaeology not of but with art and architecture. He advocates a way of thinking through making in which sentient practitioners and active materials continually answer to, or ‘correspond’, with one another in the generation of form. Making offers a series of profound reflections on what it means to create things, on materials and form, the meaning of design, landscape perception, animate life, personal knowledge and the work of the hand. It draws on examples and experiments ranging from prehistoric stone tool-making to the building of medieval cathedrals, from round mounds to monuments, from flying kites to winding string, from drawing to writing. The book will appeal to students and practitioners alike, with interests in social and cultural anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art and design, visual studies and material culture.

The Cognitive Life of Things

Author: Lambros Malafouris
Publisher: McDonald Inst of Archeological
ISBN: 1902937511
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Social Science

"Things have a social life. They also lead cognitive lives, working subtly in our minds. But just how is it that human thought has become so deeply involved in and expressed through material things? There is today a wide recognition that material culture regulates and shapes the ways in which people perceive, think and act. But just how does that work? This is one of the most challenging research topics for the archaeology and anthropology of human cognition. The understanding of the working of past and present material culture - its cognitive efficacy - is becoming a key issue in the cognitive and social sciences more widely. This volume, with innovative case studies ranging from prehistory to the present, seeks to establish a cross-disciplinary framework and to set out future directions for research. Its aim is to redress the balance of the cognitive equation by at last bringing materiality firmly into the cognitive fold. But how can we integrate artefacts - material culture - into existing theories of human cognition? How do we understand the significant role of the human use of the things we have ourselves created in the development of human intelligence? The distinguished contributors here argue that the boundaries of the mind must now be understood as extending beyond the individual and to include the world of the artefact if we are fully to grasp how interactions among people, things, space and time have come, over thousands of years, to shape the transformations in human cognition that have made us what we are."--Publisher's description.

Ceramic Theory and Cultural Process

Author: Dean E. Arnold
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521272599
Release Date: 1988-06-16
Genre: Social Science

A theory of ceramics that elucidates the complex relationship between culture, pottery and society.

Radical Embodied Cognitive Science

Author: Anthony Chemero
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262258081
Release Date: 2011-08-19
Genre: Philosophy

While philosophers of mind have been arguing over the status of mental representations in cognitive science, cognitive scientists have been quietly engaged in studying perception, action, and cognition without explaining them in terms of mental representation. In this book, Anthony Chemero describes this nonrepresentational approach (which he terms radical embodied cognitive science), puts it in historical and conceptual context, and applies it to traditional problems in the philosophy of mind. Radical embodied cognitive science is a direct descendant of the American naturalist psychology of William James and John Dewey, and follows them in viewing perception and cognition to be understandable only in terms of action in the environment. Chemero argues that cognition should be described in terms of agent-environment dynamics rather than in terms of computation and representation. After outlining this orientation to cognition, Chemero proposes a methodology: dynamical systems theory, which would explain things dynamically and without reference to representation. He also advances a background theory: Gibsonian ecological psychology, "shored up" and clarified. Chemero then looks at some traditional philosophical problems (reductionism, epistemological skepticism, metaphysical realism, consciousness) through the lens of radical embodied cognitive science and concludes that the comparative ease with which it resolves these problems, combined with its empirical promise, makes this approach to cognitive science a rewarding one. "Jerry Fodor is my favorite philosopher," Chemero writes in his preface, adding, "I think that Jerry Fodor is wrong about nearly everything." With this book, Chemero explains nonrepresentational, dynamical, ecological cognitive science as clearly and as rigorously as Jerry Fodor explained computational cognitive science in his classic work The Language of Thought.

Brain and Culture

Author: Bruce E. Wexler
Publisher: Bradford Books
ISBN: 0262731932
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Medical

Research shows that between birth and early adulthood the brain requires sensory stimulation to develop physically. The nature of the stimulation shapes the connections among neurons that create the neuronal networks necessary for thought and behavior. By changing the cultural environment, each generation shapes the brains of the next. By early adulthood, the neuroplasticity of the brain is greatly reduced, and this leads to a fundamental shift in the relationship between the individual and the environment: during the first part of life, the brain and mind shape themselves to the major recurring features of their environment; by early adulthood, the individual attempts to make the environment conform to the established internal structures of the brain and mind. In Brain and Culture, Bruce Wexler explores the social implications of the close and changing neurobiological relationship between the individual and the environment, with particular attention to the difficulties individuals face in adulthood when the environment changes beyond their ability to maintain the fit between existing internal structure and external reality. These difficulties are evident in bereavement, the meeting of different cultures, the experience of immigrants (in which children of immigrant families are more successful than their parents at the necessary internal transformations), and the phenomenon of interethnic violence. Integrating recent neurobiological research with major experimental findings in cognitive and developmental psychology--with illuminating references to psychoanalysis, literature, anthropology, history, and politics--Wexler presents a wealth of detail to support his arguments. The groundbreaking connections he makes allow for reconceptualization of the effect of cultural change on the brain and provide a new biological base from which to consider such social issues as "culture wars" and ethnic violence.

History of Design

Author: Pat Kirkham
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300196146
Release Date: 2013-12-10
Genre: Art

A survey of spectacular breadth, covering the history of decorative arts and design worldwide over the past six hundred years

Lifelong Kindergarten

Author: Mitchel Resnick
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262037297
Release Date: 2017-08-25
Genre: Education

Creative learning -- Projects -- Passion -- Peers -- Play -- Creative society

Reclaiming Conversation

Author: Sherry Turkle
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780143109792
Release Date: 2016-09-26
Genre: FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS

Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over thirty years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: that we have stopped having face-to-face conversation in favour of technological connections such as texts or emails. Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools and the workplace, Turkle argues here that we now have a better understanding of this phenomenon, and that going forward, it's time we reclaim conversation, the most human thing that we do.

Mind in Architecture

Author: Sarah Robinson
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262329095
Release Date: 2015-04-24
Genre: Architecture

Although we spend more than ninety percent of our lives inside buildings, we understand very little about how the built environment affects our behavior, thoughts, emotions, and well-being. We are biological beings whose senses and neural systems have developed over millions of years; it stands to reason that research in the life sciences, particularly neuroscience, can offer compelling insights into the ways our buildings shape our interactions with the world. This expanded understanding can help architects design buildings that support both mind and body. In Mind in Architecture, leading thinkers from architecture and other disciplines, including neuroscience, cognitive science, psychiatry, and philosophy, explore what architecture and neuroscience can learn from each other. They offer historical context, examine the implications for current architectural practice and education, and imagine a neuroscientifically informed architecture of the future. Architecture is late in discovering the richness of neuroscientific research. As scientists were finding evidence for the bodily basis of mind and meaning, architecture was caught up in convoluted cerebral games that denied emotional and bodily reality altogether. This volume maps the extraordinary opportunity that engagement with cutting-edge neuroscience offers present-day architects. ContributorsThomas D. Albright, Michael Arbib, John Paul Eberhard, Melissa Farling, Vittorio Gallese, Alessandro Gattara, Mark L. Johnson, Harry Francis Mallgrave, Iain McGilchrist, Juhani Pallasmaa, Alberto Pérez-Gómez, Sarah Robinson