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The Penultimate CuriosityHow Science Swims in the Slipstream of Ultimate Questions$
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Roger Wagner and Andrew Briggs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747956.001.0001

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Horizons of Curiosity

Horizons of Curiosity

(p.43) Chapter Six Horizons of Curiosity
The Penultimate Curiosity

Roger Wagner

Andrew Briggs

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the notion of curiosity. It argues that curiosity at some level is as old as life itself. All living things at a minimal level investigate their surroundings by bumping into (or being bumped into) by whatever is near them. For creatures with nervous systems things are more complex. They actively explore their environment by prodding, poking, and mapping their surroundings with whatever means are available to them. The chapter then discusses the development of the cathedral of mind; the origins of what Darwin calls ‘the moral sense’; the capacity of chimpanzees to wage something like sustained warfare against members of their own species; and humans’ capacity for neurological integration, which propelled Homo sapiens into a new kind of cognitive world.

Keywords:   curiosity, human mind, Darwin, moral sense, chimpanzees, neurological integration, cognition, Homo sapiens

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