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The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780465030149
Author(s): Thomas Suddendorf
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2013
Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)
Dimensions: 155 x 234 x 33 (w x l x h)
Pages: 358

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Description:
There exists an undeniable chasm between the capacities of humans and those of animals. Our minds have spawned civilizations and technologies that have changed the face of the Earth, whereas even our closest animal relatives sit unobtrusively in their dwindling habitats. Yet despite longstanding debates, the nature of this apparent gap has remained unclear. What exactly is the difference between our minds and theirs? In The Gap, psychologist Thomas Suddendorf provides a definitive account of the mental qualities that separate humans from other animals, as well as how these differences arose. Drawing on two decades of research on apes, children, and human evolution, he surveys the abilities most often cited as uniquely human--language, intelligence, morality, culture, theory of mind, and mental time travel--and finds that two traits account for most of the ways in which our minds appear so distinct: Namely, our open-ended ability to imagine and reflect on scenarios, and our insatiable drive to link our minds together.
These two traits explain how our species was able to amplify qualities that we inherited in parallel with our animal counterparts; transforming animal communication into language, memory into mental time travel, sociality into mind reading, problem solving into abstract reasoning, traditions into culture, and empathy into morality. Suddendorf concludes with the provocative suggestion Please click here to ask a question
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