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The Artful MindCognitive Science and the Riddle of Human Creativity$
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Mark Turner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306361.001.0001

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Art and Cognitive Evolution

Art and Cognitive Evolution

(p.3) 1 Art and Cognitive Evolution
The Artful Mind

Merlin Donald

Oxford University Press

The great riddle—of archaeology, cognitive science, neuroscience, anthropology, sociology, political science, linguistics, religious studies, and the humanities from literature and music to dance and art—is how we became human, how we acquired modern minds. To have a cognitively modern human mind is to be robustly artful. This equivalence provides the inevitable starting point for a research program aimed at answering obvious some very difficult questions: What is the evolutionary path from our remoter ancestors, who somehow lacked artful minds, to the existence of cognitively modern human beings, who cannot fail to be artful? How did the artful mind emerge? Did the artful mind emerge in a leap, or through slow development? What are the basic mental operations that make art possible for us now, and how do they operate? What neurobiology subtends these abilities? What is the interplay, in the phenomena of artfulness, between biological dispositions, individual experience, and cultural history? This book is addressed to the next generation of scientists and scholars who seek to explain the wonders and mysteries of the artful mind.

Keywords:   artful mind, modern mind, human beings, artfulness, cultural history, neurobiology, cognitive science, mental operations, art

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