Book suggestions

I have

The Adapted Mind
Evolutionary cognitive science
heuristics and biases (the psycholgy of intuitive judgement)
In God’s We Trust
The stuff of thought
The blank slate
The Most Dangerous Animal
The Cell
Human molecular genetics 3rd edition
The Ancestor’s Tale (dawkins but its an encyclopedia of species/evolution)
The Blind Watchmaker
The Selfish gene
The moral animal (weak read)
2 books on WW2 and the eastern front

Just got

Homicide
The Last Human A guide to 22 extinct species of human.
war before civilization
A book on anticuckholdry tactics and female adaptation.

Any suggestions? I’ll update with authors/brief explanations for each and add more books I own. I’m 22 anyone like my small library so far?

I wanted to grab folkbiology or phantoms in the brain, a book called headache art sounds interesting too.

An impressive list, Cy.
Check out:
Baynes., et al., eds., “After Philosophy: End or Transformation”
Doidge, “The Brain That Changes Itself”
Piaget, “Evolution and Knowledge” (Or is it the other way around? Senior moments ain’t fun.)
Jaynes, “The Origin of Consciousness In The Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”
Humprey, “A History Of The Mind”
Wilson, “Consilience”
Skip Pinker, Dennett and Dawkins. Or read as grains of salt. :smiley:

Dawkins should be taken lightly because he doesn’t know much about the science behind religion and admittedly memes don’t exist however Dawkins work and popularization of the selfish gene concept has revolutionized modern evo biology.

For example the impressive scope of his understanding of evolutionary concepts and sheer encylopedic knowledge of species and biology.

In every great evolutionary textbook they often times quote dawkins popular science for definitions of words like ‘adaptation’ his work in evo bio should def be taken seriously, and was influental to huge revolutions in biology. Changed the way a new group of scientists look at the world. Now maybe hamilton or westermack should have gotten the glory but they didn’t.

dennet is a huge joke and ignores giant areas of cognitive neuroscience.

As to Pinker he’s done Massive amounts of research on language, ground breaking by any definition. His contributions to the study of language, while not chomsky, is massively impressive. why take him lightly

The concepts put forward in the extended phenotype is original work in evolutionary biology, the concepts are surely elegant. The selfish gene is really a poularization of concepts by other scientists, but the way it was written was good enough for the definitions from it to be added to textbooks 30 years later.

Almost all his work on evo bio is praise worthy. Its rare for a popular science to entrench itself in textbooks to that point. Unheard of is actually more acvurate. Though when he talks about memes/religion thats not worth listening to as much, most of his books are just popularized evo bio, most of which is accepted by modern scientists.

I think the memes idea is a very interesting one, would like to see more work on it by psychologists, sociologists, etc. in order to make it more rigorous.

Thats the problem. When its put to scientific testing/evidence the idea of memes fail. The only reason genes can account to darwinian selection is that they have massive copying fidelty, Dawkins massively *assumes that ideas don’t mutate from mind to mind, when that is massively false.

Certain ideas are more or less memorable depending on how they violate innate expectations something else memes ignore. Atran rightfully calls it a ‘mindblind’ theory. it ignores Everything about the real world. Ideas don’t pass from person to person very well, which is why dozens of people from the same congregation will all give you different anwsers on what the 12 commandments are.

Ideas can pass from person to person like that in special circumstances but even that is more like independent conclusions based on a pre existing human nature. Like most devils or scary destroyer gods had aspects of dangerous animals or predators.

Check out Red Queen if you haven’t already. It is aimed at a slightly more lay audience than you are, but I’ve enjoyed his other books immensely despite their lay target. I think it would be up your alley, at least if you are as similar to Tab in your tastes as you often seem to be.

Cy,
Two others–
Smolin, “Three Roads To Quantum Gravity”
Kaufman, “Discovering The Mind” (3 vols.)
Where I have problems with Pinker is that I find him falling into the category of popularizer. That’s all well and good for orientation into the fields. As you admitted, he’s not Chomsky.

Yes, The Mismeasure of Man.

Black swan - N N Taleb.

Critical mass - Philip Ball.

Red Queen was great, but maybe a bit dated now, 1993.

Absolutely read http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolution-Four-Dimensions-Behavioral-Philosophical/dp/0262600692/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1232035798&sr=1-2

It is the last word in genetics/evolution. Well, until the next one anyway.

Pinker popularizes to an extent in the blank slate but he’s been a contributing researcher in many scientific textbooks on language. He’s no chomsky but his contributions are nearly that great and unlike chomsky doesn’t make idiotic references to how language isn’t an adaptation or on the weakness of evo bio explanations. Which is nonsense.

I hate Gould. What I even hate more is that between diff populations of human you have notable differences in brain size and neuronal numbers, the difference between a few million neurons is a big difference. Gould didn’t convincingly explain how small IQ differences couldn’t exist.

his arguements against stuff that no one believes, also annoying. Quantifying intelligence may be hard, quantifying that plus a few million extra neurons will increase computational ability… not so much.

Oh my god I’m shocked. :laughing:

Ever read it?

Yes. the prob is its foolish. different populations have diff brain sizes, now the difference at the low/high end of normal between those 2 groups are 1000cm3 to 1700cm3 the diff being 4.2 billionPLUS neurons. Thats 27% more neurons. So yeah we can expect differences in G intelligence even if thats impossibly hard to quantify.

27% more neurons is expensive biologically, the idea that there are absolutely no benefit to that makes no sense. Its like finding a third arm in some groups of people, better to assume its functional as opposed to finding some kind of flaw in evolutionary theory.

an arm is an exaggeration but a comparison to skin tone or the ability for some population’s blood to store iron or oxygen better than another group.

On a totally unrelated note, by Homicide do you mean the book by David Simon? If so, you’re in for a hell of a treat. That man can write.

On a murder-related note, anyone ever read this book Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert Ressler? Psychological Profiling guy. It’s presented like trashy violence porn replete with pictures of serial killers and he’s got what some might call an annoying style but absolutely fascinating on the psychology behind serial murder.

I just totally tried to gatecrash your thread. I’ll make some more sensible suggestions.

Wholeness and the Implicate Order - David Bohm
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wholeness-Implicate-Order-Routledge-Classics/dp/0415289793/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229290552&sr=1-1

If this hadn’t been written by a world renowned theoretical physicist and I hadn’t read his excellent guide to Special Relativity I’d have rejected this as exactly the kind of nonsense philosophers shouldn’t be interested in. I’d have been wrong. Fascinating insight into a way of looking at modern physical science. The writing style is clear rather than engaging though.

A suggestion of a completely different type: Pragmatism by William James. Best thing I’ve read all year.

I meant Homicide by Martin Daly and Margo Wilson apparently ground breaking text on murder. Why humans murder, the situations in which they do, statistics etc. Darwinian in scope. Its universally agreed to put forward impressive research on the subject anyway.

evolution in four dimensions is kinda radicalist. They talk about a pile of stuff that neatly falls into the neo darwinian view as if it didn’t. Behavior has a genetic basis and fits under gene selection snugly. That was the basis of the extended phenotype as well, new behaviors could spark evochange. The book is very interesting its just the conclusion doesn’t follow logically.

a pregnant mother’s food choices effecting what the offspring eats is an absurdist claim, ignoring that children share 50% of those genes PLUS maybe adaptation to only eat what mommy eats. It just assumes a lot.

we don’t end up adding ‘learned’ instincts through culture either, outside of the genetic idea of darwinian selection.

the book succeeds in displaying a bunch of previously unknown cellular mechanism which can in small ways inherit traits outside of genes. Still, the conclusion fails.