How Things Shape The Mind: A Theory Of Material Engagement

Paperback | February 12, 2016

byLambros MalafourisForeword byColin Renfrew

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An increasingly influential school of thought in cognitive science views the mind as embodied, extended, and distributed rather than brain-bound or "all in the head." This shift in perspective raises important questions about the relationship between cognition and material culture, posing major challenges for philosophy, cognitive science, archaeology, and anthropology. In How Things Shape the Mind, Lambros Malafouris proposes a cross-disciplinary analytical framework for investigating the ways in which things have become cognitive extensions of the human body. Using a variety of examples and case studies, he considers how those ways might have changed from earliest prehistory to the present. Malafouris's Material Engagement Theory definitively adds materiality -- the world of things, artifacts, and material signs -- into the cognitive equation. His account not only questions conventional intuitions about the boundaries and location of the human mind but also suggests that we rethink classical archaeological assumptions about human cognitive evolution.

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An increasingly influential school of thought in cognitive science views the mind as embodied, extended, and distributed rather than brain-bound or "all in the head." This shift in perspective raises important questions about the relationship between cognition and material culture, posing major challenges for philosophy, cognitive scie...

Lambros Malafouris is Creativity Research Fellow and Research Fellow and Tutor in Archaeology, Anthropology, and Human Evolution at Keble College, University of Oxford.

other books by Lambros Malafouris

Material Agency: Towards a Non-Anthropocentric Approach
Material Agency: Towards a Non-Anthropocentric Approach

Kobo ebook|Dec 15 2008

$123.89 online$160.90list price(save 23%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.56 inPublished:February 12, 2016Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262528924

ISBN - 13:9780262528924

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How Things Shape the Mind is a rich, thought-provoking and ambitious book.... [T]hat this book is a main contribution to cognitive archaeology and to the wider debate on how material culture and technology, on the one hand, and human thought, on the other, are causally intertwined. Anyone who is seriously interested in either or both of these fields should read this fascinating book.