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


by Merlin Donald

This bold and brilliant book asks the ultimate question of the life sciences: How did the human mind acquire its incomparable power? In seeking the answer, Merlin Donald traces the evolution of human culture and cognition from primitive apes to artificial intelligence, presenting an enterprising and original theory of how the human mind evolved from its presymbolic form.

Buy from Amazon


Origins of the Modern Mind is an admirable book…Its author displays throughout an engaging enthusiasm, a fertile imagination and an impressive knowledge of his subject-matter.” —Christopher Longuet-Higgins (Times Literary Supplement)

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

“Nowadays one hears…that hand-held calculators destroy young people’s motivation to learn arithmetic. But not to worry, says Merlin Donald, author of this revelatory but demanding history of human consciousness. He welcomes the computer, as well as other forms of electronic storage and manipulation of data and images, including TV, as the highest stage of mental development—and perhaps the final one.” —John Wilkes, Los Angeles Times