The Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark by Mark TurnerThe Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark by Mark Turner

The Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark

byMark Turner

Paperback | July 29, 2015

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Why are we so innovative? Where do new ideas come from? Why are human beings so exceptionally good at innovation, leaving other species mentally in the dust? How can we hold onto new ideas once they are formed? This book explores the claim that the human spark, the source of innovation and theorigin of ideas, was an advance that occurred in a particular kind of mental operation, which Turner calls blending. Blending is our ability to take two ideas or more and create a new idea from the "blend." And what is so fascinating is how human beings are able to engage in blending almost withouteffort and usually unconsciously. It appears to be second nature to us, how we live and breathe in the course of processing information and ideas.Human beings are profoundly different from all other species in this ability. While many species can do what we cannot - fly, run amazingly fast, see in the dark - only human beings can innovate. Beginning somewhere in the Paleolithic Age, everything changed in the course of human events. Beforethat, we were a bunch of large mammals. After that, we were poised to take over the world. Turner makes the controversial and provocative claim that what made human advances possible was the ability to engage in the virtuosity of blending, which is everywhere apparent in our cultural record-in ourcreations and innovations - it is the origin of our ideas.Turner's theory of blending is featured in Jonah Lehrer's bestselling book, Imagine, and this book will be the first to lay out this theory in detail for a lay audience and academics tackling the nature of the human brain and the fascinating puzzle of what it means to be human.
Mark Turner, Ph.D., is Institute Professor and Professor of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University. He is the founding director of the Cognitive Science Network and co-director of the Red Hen Lab. His most recent book publications are Ten Lectures on Mind and Language and two edited volumes, The Artful Mind: Cognitive Sci...
Title:The Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human SparkFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.09 × 6.1 × 1.1 inPublished:July 29, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190263156

ISBN - 13:9780190263157


Table of Contents

1. Where Do Ideas Come From?2. Who Are You?3. Who Am I?4. Forbidden Fruit5. The Artful Mind6. The Sweep of Thought7. Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe8. Round and Round and Round We Go9. Final QuestionsReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Mark Turner should be named poet laureate of cognitive science. In The Origin of Ideas, Turner presents a cognitive science of creative thought using persuasive examples from areas such as cognitive linguistics and neuroscience. He argues how creative thinking, in the form of advancedconceptual blending, underlies human endeavors ranging from ancient sculpture to modern economics. In this manner, Turner profoundly describes a key step in the grand scope of human cognitive development-an achievement he carries out with sparkling clarity and inimitable panache." --D. Fox Harrell, Associate Professor of Digital Media, Comparative Media Studies Program and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT.