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Queen's University
Merlin Donald

Merlin W. Donald

Emeritus Professor

Department of Psychology &
Faculty of Education

Queen's University


Origins of the Modern Mind Cover

Origins of the Modern Mind

(Available in both hardcover and paperback. Paperback: Reprint edition February 1993)

Publisher: Harvard University Pr; [ISBN: 0674644840]

Origins of the Modern Mind : Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition by Merlin Donald 


"A fine, provocative and absorbing account of what makes humans human." - Kirkus Reviews


"Neuropsychology and cognitive science are concerned largely with the fundamental structure of the modern human mind. Although some attention has been paid to the phylogenetic succession of changes that must have led to the modern mind (see, for instance, Anderson, 1983), emphasis has been placed mostly upon the modern structure of human mental capacities, without taking their evolution into account. It is not an exaggeration to say that theories of cognitive structure are built mostly upon studies of the human mind as manifest in literate, postindustrial society and upon studies of the capabilities of computers. The extraordinary range of theory that has resulted was constructed for the most part without the constraints that must be applied to evolutionary hypotheses: continuity with previous forms, consistency with selection pressures, parsimony with regard to the number and complexity of successive adaptations, and so on. The result is that structural, that is, modular, models of mind proliferate without regard to their biological feasibility, even with neuropsychology."

A Mind So Rare Cover (Hardcover)

A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

(Hardcover - June 2001) 

Publisher: WW Norton [ISBN 0-393-04950-7]


A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness by Merlin Donald


"Merlin Donald transcends the simplistic claims of evolutionary psychology. He offers a true Darwinian perspective on the evolution of consciousness-one which takes account, in Darwin's words, of "the infinitely complex relations between organic beings and external nature", in this instance the complex adaptive relationships that hold between the human mind-brain and human culture." - Philip Lieberman, author of Eve Spoke

A Mind So Rare Cover (Paperback)

A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

(Paperback - June 2002)


Publisher: WW Norton [ISBN: 0393323196]


A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness by Merlin Donald


"In A Mind So Rare, Merlin Donald has achieved the almost impossible--an elegant, witty, and accessible account of mind and consciousness which is always respectful of, but never subservient to, the take-over demands of the neurosciences. In his insistence that minds are open systems, constituted both by a person's biology and the society and culture in which that biology is embedded, Donald has rescued minds from those who would reduce them to information processing computers and the naiveté of evolutionary psychology. The most significant contribution yet to the rapidly growing literature of minds, brains, and consciousness." - Steven Rose author of Lifelines, Biology beyond Determinism

Les_Origines Cover

Les Origines de L'Esprit Moderne

(Traduction de la 1re édition americaine par Christele Emenegger et Francis Eustache - French translation by C. Ermenegger & F. Eustache)

Publisher: DeBoeck Université [ISBN 2-7445-0042-9]

Les Origines de L’Esprit Moderne: Trois étapes dans l’évolution de la culture et de la cognition by Merlin Donald

Cet ouvrage porte sur un sujet encore peu envisagé par les psychologues et les neuropsychologues, tout au moins en Europe. Comment intégrer, et sur quelles bases empiriques, les vestiges de l'évolution phylogénétique dans les théories cognitives et neuropsychologiques de l'homme d'aujourd´hui?


L'Evoluzione Cover

L'Evoluzione Della Mente: Per una teoria darwiniana della coscienza

(Italian translation by Laura Montixi Comoglio)


Publisher: Garzanti [ISBN 88-11-59310-7]

L'Evoluzione Della Menta Per una teoria darwiniana della coscienza by Merlin Donald

I tre stadi dello sviluppo della coscienza: dalla capacità di reppresentare il proprio sapere attraverso gesti volontari allo stadio <>, connesso all'elaborazione del linguaggio, fino all'elaborazione di sistemi simbolici complessi.


Origins of the Modern Mind Cover

Origens Do Pensamento Moderno

Servico de Educacao [ISBN 972-31-0820-8]


Fundacão Calouste Gulbenkian

Depósito Legal N.o 140 501/99


Origens Do Pensamento Moderno by Merlin Donald


Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000