A Mind So Rare

This is another fantastic book by Merlin Donald, who also wrote The Origins of the Modern Mind. In this second book, Merlin advances a theory of the evolution of the mind and culture that is somewhat distinct from mid-twentieth century thinkers on the subject. He advocates for a theory that puts mimesis (through making) as a primary ingredient necessary for the creation of culture. From this culture created through mimesis, then language springs forth. As other neuroscientists and cognitive anthropologists have noted, the capacity for language and making (or using one's hands) are situated closely in the brain. Debates about the hierarchy between using one's hands or using one's words should be replaced with a more nuanced discussion of cognition, culture, and intelligence.