Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

political. Violence is Natural The opening sequence to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey remains the best representation of the prevailing assumption concerning human evolution and development. In the beginning, it is said, man was nothing more than a beast, once solitary then tribal, living on survival instinct alone. As we evolve, so we learn to master technologies that demonstrate our computational skills, along with our abilities to massacre one another with more ruthless efficiency. Man, in fact appears as a killer ape ‘with metaphysical longing’, as

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Abstract only
Architecture, memes and minds
Author: Chris Abel

While there is widespread agreement across disciplines that the identities of individuals, groups and places are significantly interrelated, there are equally divergent views as to the nature and origins of those relationships. The first part of the book highlights that the prime importance of the human body in spatial cognition and human perception generally. In stressing the fundamental role of the body as the medium of all personal experience, the concept of the self that emerges thus far retains a strong unitary core. An alternative theory of extended minds which retains the integrity of individual human agents while embracing the extension of personal powers by external devices is also discussed. The second part looks at the scope of inquiry to take in the wider impact of technology on human evolution and the extended self. Selected writings from some of Stiegler's prominent followers and critics were also examined for what they contribute to our understanding of Stiegler's ideas and their possible further applications. He and his followers continue to fall back upon neo-Darwinian concepts and terminologies in elaborating their ideas. Theories of emergence and self-production, or autopoiesis, are investigated as promising alternatives to orthodox evolutionary theory. The subject of design, function of memes, impacts of the coevolution of humankind and technology on the human mind and the self are some other concepts discussed. The third part of the book focuses talk about cognitive roots of classification and combinativity, the relations between form and content, and vernacular architecture.

Abstract only
Chris Abel

Part II summary Commencing in Chapter 4 with an examination of Bernard Stiegler’s theory of technics, the second part of this book opened up the scope of inquiry to take in the wider impact of technology on human evolution and the extended self. While Stiegler overlooks the making and use of tools by primates and other creatures, he argues convincingly that the accumulative effects of humankind’s technical exteriorization, or what he crisply describes as the coevolution of the ‘who and the what,’ sets our species apart from any other. Selected writings from some

in The extended self
Chris Abel

their own studies got to be the way they are now. However, aware as he was of the potential storm of controversy his theory might instigate within a culture then dominated by religious beliefs and anthropocentrism, Darwin himself initially avoided any applications of his theory to human evolution, restricting himself to just one short sentence in his concluding chapter: ‘Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.’11 That was all it took. Just as Darwin feared, the popular press of the period quickly dubbed natural selection ‘ape theory,’ sparking a

in The extended self
Don Brothwell

), ‘Untersuchungen über den Oldowayfund: der Fossilzustand und der Schädel’, Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für physische Anthropologie 3, 60–7. Mourant, A. E. (1954), The Distribution of the Human Blood Groups (Oxford: Blackwell). Mukherjee, R., Rao, C. R. and Trevor, J. C. (1955), The Ancient Inhabitants of Jebel Moya (Sudan) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Nielsen, O. V. (1973), ‘Population movements and changes in ancient Nubia with special reference to the relationship between C-group, New Kingdom and Kerma’, Journal of Human Evolution 2, 31–46. Nott, J. C. and

in Mummies, magic and medicine in ancient Egypt
Chris Abel

opening up another and deeper way of looking at technology beyond the instrumental, he argues that Heidegger does not go far enough himself in pursuing the hinted line of alternative thought, and is not very clear about where it might lead.16 For Stiegler, it is not sufficient to suggest that technics might comprise another, little-understood dimension of being – it is the dimension by which we define ourselves as distinctly human and which more than any other factor accounts for the manner and sheer speed of human evolution. Taking up Bertrand Gille’s claim that modern

in The extended self
Abstract only
Chris Abel

studies, it is argued that the discovery and use of tools and other devices by Homo sapiens and our hominid predecessors to modify their environment in favor of their survival not only marks the beginning of the long trek of human evolution and cultural development, but actually defines us as human.9 It follows that either the concepts of natural selection and inherited traits need revising to accommodate such factors, or some other, broader theory of evolution is required that can better integrate both natural and artificial phenomena – issues that are further

in The extended self
Abstract only
Chris Abel

extrapolate the same findings to human behavior. However, it is Metzinger’s observations on the broader implications of such experiments for human evolution that are most striking, the full significance of which will become more apparent as this book unfolds: One exciting aspect of these new data is that they shed light on the evolution of tool use. A necessary precondition of expanding your space of action and your capabilities by using tools clearly seems to be the ability to integrate them into a pre-existing self-model. You can engage in goal-directed and intelligent

in The extended self
The medical Left and the lessons of science, 1918–48
John Stewart

there were those, particularly among the clinical élite, who continued to maintain that medicine was at least in part an ‘art’ there was an increasing emphasis in the course of the twentieth century on its scientific credentials.1 In the inter-war era, when science enjoyed a high cultural status, such claims took on particular significance. Third, human evolution and the human body illustrated the advantages of co-operative working. In the healthy body all constituent parts worked harmoniously and collectively towards the greater ends of survival and growth. Should

in Scientific governance in Britain, 1914–79
The lasting legacy of Sir Grafton Elliot Smith
Jenefer Cockitt

arts. This new institute of anatomy was to re-establish the importance of anatomy and instigate further research into human evolution. Elliot Smith sought funding from the Rockefeller Foundation for his project; however, he ultimately lost out to Bronislaw Malinowski, a social anthropologist at the London School of Economics. Malinowski’s proposal favoured a social science methodology in the study of human life and culture, which the Rockefeller Foundation felt was ‘more scientific’ than Elliot Smith’s anatomically focused proposal (Fisher 1986: 6). In fact, the

in Mummies, magic and medicine in ancient Egypt