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The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will
— —
Kenneth R. Miller
The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will by Kenneth R. Miller at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will

Kenneth R. Miller



Religion & science;
Mathematics & Sciences;
Philosophy of science;
History of science;


304 pages

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A radical, optimistic exploration of how humans evolved to develop reason, consciousness, and free will.

Lately, the most passionate advocates of the theory of evolution seem to present it as bad news. Scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, and Sam Harris tell us that our most intimate actions, thoughts, and values are mere byproducts of thousands of generations of mindless adaptation. We are just one species among multitudes, and therefore no more significant than any other living creature.

Now comes Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller to make the case that this view betrays a gross misunderstanding of evolution. Natural selection surely explains how our bodies and brains were shaped, but Miller argues that it's not a social or cultural theory of everything. In The Human Instinct, he rejects the idea that our biological heritage means that human thought, action, and imagination are pre-determined, describing instead the trajectory that ultimately gave us reason, consciousness and free will. A proper understanding of evolution, he says, reveals humankind in its glorious uniqueness-one foot planted firmly among all of the creatures we've evolved alongside, and the other in the special place of self-awareness and understanding that we alone occupy in the universe.

Equal parts natural science and philosophy, The Human Instinct is a moving and powerful celebration of what it means to be human.

By:   Kenneth R. Miller
Imprint:   SIMON451
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   460g
ISBN:   9781476790268
ISBN 10:   1476790264
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   June 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Readers seeking a modification of doctrinaire Darwinism will find a thoughtful, scientifically sound, evolution-based exponent in Miller. * Booklist * Here is a clear-eyed look at the use and sometime misuse of evolutionary theory. * Kevin Padian, professor of biology at the University of California, Berkeley * Following in Darwin's footsteps, Miller makes the slam-dunk case for why, in light of our origins, humans are still special. * Edward J. Larson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evolution * Insightful.... [Miller's] universe is a kaleidoscope of dazzling evolutionary possibilities. * Kirkus Reviews (starred review) * Miller wants to show that the contemporary consensus around natural selection leaves room for things that have long given meaning to human life. * The Washington Post * Fascinating.... [The Human Instinct] confronts both lay and professional misconceptions about evolution from both scientific and philosophical perspectives. * Publishers Weekly (starred review) * Absorbing, lucid, and engaging. An eloquent and deeply grounded case that it was evolution that gave us our humanity. * Ursula Goodenough, professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis * Highly recommended. * Forbes *

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