Dr. McConkey’s New Book: Not For The Common Good

$9.87

Not for the common good. Evolution and Human Communication.

Description

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Human communication is obviously different from that of any other species. We alone produce television shows, compose music and poetry, argue aesthetics and ethics, do stand-up comedy, write annual reports, applications, scientific treatises and love letters. Yet, as remarkably distinct as are these human communication processes, if we rule out divine intervention or extraterrestrial explanations, evolutionary theory tells us that this human uniqueness must be explained by the gradual, incremental accumulation of traits, building upon the long line of our evolutionary ancestors. This book explores the evolutionary legacy of human communication and the implications of that legacy for understanding our human world.

Table of Contents

Preface. 7

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. 10

About the Author. 11

PROLOGUE: Understanding Biological Realism.. 12

     Biological Realism Explained. 14

     The Biological Failings of Subjectivist Human Communication Studies. 19

     The Problems with Group Selection and Cultural Evolution. 23

     Evolution, Human Sociality and the Modern World. 29

          PART ONE: Not What We Think. 36

Chapter 1: HOW REASONABLE AN ANIMAL?. 38

Chapter 2: THE ILLUSION OF THE CONSCIOUS WILL. 56

Chapter 3: EVOLUTION OF THE MODULAR MIND.. 72

          PART TWO: Against the Myth of the Robot Revolt. 83

Chapter 4: THE MECHANICS OF FITNESS. 86

Chapter 5: THE ALTRUISM OF ROBOTS. 103

Chapter 6: THE SOCIETY OF GENE MACHINES. 112

Excursus I: WHY CULTURE ISN’T. 121

     Culture as Random, Self-Originating Cause. 125

     Critical Reassessments of the Principle Presumption. 127

     Some Thoughts on a Constructive Model 137

          PART THREE: Uncrossing Our Signals. 143

Chapter 7: THE SEMIOTICS OF ANIMAL COMMUNICATION.. 145

Excursus II: THE SEMIOTICS OF BIOSEMIOTICS. 159

Chapter 8: INFORMATION, SIGNALING AND COMMUNICATION.. 165

Chapter 9: THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN SOCIAL INFORMATION.. 176

     Hominid Entry into the Cognitive Niche. 179

     Evolution and Speech Acts. 188

Chapter 10: THE MACHIAVELLIAN MODULE. 191

Chapter 11: TALKING ILLUSIONS IN ACTION.. 210

     What’s It all Mean?. 225

Epilogue: NOT WHAT WE MEAN.. 229

READINGS  240

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