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Cognitive Adaptation
A Pragmatist Perspective

$113.00 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521517911
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$ 113.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Cognitive Adaptation: A Pragmatist Perspective argues that there is a fundamental link between cognitive/neural systems and evolution that underlies human activity. One important result is that the line between nature and culture and scientific and humanistic inquiry is quite permeable – the two are fairly continuous with each other. Two concepts figure importantly in our human ascent: agency and animacy. The first is the recognition of another person as having beliefs, desires, and a sense of experience. The second term is the recognition of an object as alive, a piece of biology. Both reflect a predilection in our cognitive architecture that is fundamental to an evolving, but fragile, sense of humanity. The book further argues for a regulative norm of self-corrective inquiry, an appreciation of the hypothetical nature of all knowledge. Schulkin’s perspective is rooted in contemporary behavioral and cognitive neuroscience.

    • Uses investigative approach to demonstrate the line between nature and culture, science and the humanities
    • Takes on perspective rooted in psychobiology, contemporary behavioral and cognitive neuroscience and classical pragmatism
    • No other work covers the material in this text in a comparable manner
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Professor Jay Schulkin is in a rare class of writers, as at home in the fields of philosophy of mind and cognitive science as he is in the fields of neuroimaging and neuroscience. Here he has produced a wide ranging book that reveals his endless appetite for asking deep and searching questions about the evolution of the mind, and that will stimulate the reader to want to read more about how the mind works.”
    —Simon Baron-Cohen, Director, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University

    “Cognitive Adaptation represents the culmination of Jay Schulkin’s exploration of the origins of human mind, thought, and language from our ongoing embodied engagement with our physical environments, our coordinated social interactions, and our emerging capacities for symbolic communication. Schulkin is one of a handful of philosophically sophisticated experts in physiology and neuroscience who are able to sketch the broader picture of human nature, human meaning, and human thought entailed by his naturalistic, embodied view of the person. Drawing on his vast interdisciplinary knowledge of fields such as neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and theology, Schulkin provides a rich and compelling pragmatist view of knowledge, social interaction, values, education, and spirituality. The result is a scientifically well-informed yet humane and inspiring vision of human life.”
    —Mark Johnson, Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon

    “Perhaps the most pressing long-term challenge for cognitive neuroscience is the development of a theory that addresses the mid-level between neural systems and consciousness and that explicates their relationship. Jay Schulkin is one of a few people who has both the biological and philosophical background to take on this challenge. His powerful and provocative theory, which he calls cognitive adaptation, will deeply influence those who follow in this difficult and exciting work.”
    —Jonathan D. Moreno, David and Lyn Silfen University Professor, University of Pennsylvania

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    Customer reviews

    01st Aug 2015 by Radwaaldayed

    Cognitive Adaptation: A Pragmatist Perspective argues that there is a fundamental link between cognitive/neural systems and evolution that underlies human activity. One important result is that the line between nature and culture and scientific and humanistic inquiry is quite permeable - the two are fairly continuous with each other. Two concepts figure importantly in our human ascent: agency and animacy. The first is the recognition of another person as having beliefs, desires, and a sense of experience. The second term is the recognition of an object as alive, a piece of biology. Both reflect a predilection in our cognitive architecture that is fundamental to an evolving, but fragile, sense of humanity. The book further argues for a regulative norm of self-corrective inquiry, an appreciation of the hypothetical nature of all knowledge. Schulkins perspective is rooted in contemporary behavioral and cognitive neuroscience.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521517911
    • length: 210 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Cognitive adaptation: objects and inquiry
    2. The human situation: uncertainty and adaptation
    3. Time and memory: historical sensibilities
    4. Education: learning from others, neurogenesis
    5. Cognitive and neurobiological basis of religious inquiry.

  • Author

    Jay Schulkin, Georgetown University, Washington DC
    Jay Schulkin is Research Professor for the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics and Neuroscience at Georgetown University. He is author of numerous texts, including The Neuroendocrine Regulation of Behavior, Roots of Social Sensibility and Neural Function, Bodily Sensibility: Intelligent Action and Allostasis, Homeostasis, and the Costs of Physiological Adaptation.

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