Dark Matter Of The Mind: The Culturally Articulated Unconscious

Hardcover | November 15, 2016

byDaniel L. Everett

not yet rated|write a review
Is it in our nature to be altruistic, or evil, to make art, use tools, or create language? Is it in our nature to think in any particular way? For Daniel L. Everett, the answer is a resounding no: it isn’t in our nature to do any of these things because human nature does not exist—at least not as we usually think of it. Flying in the face of major trends in Evolutionary Psychology and related fields, he offers a provocative and compelling argument in this book that the only thing humans are hardwired for is freedom: freedom from evolutionary instinct and freedom to adapt to a variety of environmental and cultural contexts.
           
Everett sketches a blank-slate picture of human cognition that focuses not on what is in the mind but, rather, what the mind is in—namely, culture. He draws on years of field research among the Amazonian people of the Pirahã in order to carefully scrutinize various theories of cognitive instinct, including Noam Chomsky’s foundational concept of universal grammar, Freud’s notions of unconscious forces, Adolf Bastian’s psychic unity of mankind, and works on massive modularity by evolutionary psychologists such as Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, Jerry Fodor, and Steven Pinker. Illuminating unique characteristics of the Pirahã language, he demonstrates just how differently various cultures can make us think and how vital culture is to our cognitive flexibility. Outlining the ways culture and individual psychology operate symbiotically, he posits a Buddhist-like conception of the cultural self as a set of experiences united by various apperceptions, episodic memories, ranked values, knowledge structures, and social roles—and not, in any shape or form, biological instinct.

The result is fascinating portrait of the “dark matter of the mind,” one that shows that our greatest evolutionary adaptation is adaptability itself.
 

Pricing and Purchase Info

$52.00

Out of stock online

From the Publisher

Is it in our nature to be altruistic, or evil, to make art, use tools, or create language? Is it in our nature to think in any particular way? For Daniel L. Everett, the answer is a resounding no: it isn’t in our nature to do any of these things because human nature does not exist—at least not as we usually think of it. Flying in the f...

Daniel L. Everett is the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He is the author of many books, including Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes; Language: The Cultural Tool; and Linguistic Fieldwork: A Student Guide. His life and work is also the subject of a documentary film, The Grammar of Happiness.   

other books by Daniel L. Everett

Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life And Language In The Amazonian Jungle
Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life And Language In The...

Paperback|Nov 3 2009

$18.09 online$19.95list price(save 9%)
Language: The Cultural Tool
Language: The Cultural Tool

Paperback|Dec 11 2012

$18.95 online$19.00list price
Die größte Erfindung der Menschheit: Was mich meine Jahre am Amazonas über das Wesen der Sprache…
Die größte Erfindung der Menschheit: Was mich meine Jah...

Kobo ebook|Apr 15 2013

$25.29 online$32.80list price(save 22%)
see all books by Daniel L. Everett
Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:November 15, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022607076X

ISBN - 13:9780226070766

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Dark Matter Of The Mind: The Culturally Articulated Unconscious

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part 1   Dark Matter and Culture
1          The Nature and Pedigree of Dark Matter
2          The Ranked-Value Theory of Culture
3          The Ontogenesis and Construction of Dark Matter
4          Dark Matter as Hermeneutics
Part 2   Dark Matter and Language
5          The Presupposed Dark Matter of Texts
6          The Dark Matter of Grammar
7          Gestures, Culture, and Homesigns
8          Dark Matter Confrontations in Translation
Part 3   Implications
9          Beyond Instincts
10        Beyond Human Nature
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“A hit and the biggest wallop in the breadbasket Noam Chomsky’s hegemony had ever suffered.”