art, academic and non-fiction books
publishers’ Eastern and Central European representation

Name your list

ISBN: HB: 9780674980556

Harvard University Press

April 2019

448 pp.

23.5x15.6 cm

3 illus., 1 table



Emotional Mind

The Affective Roots of Culture and Cognition

Many accounts of the human mind concentrate on the brain's computational power. Yet, in evolutionary terms, rational cognition emerged only the day before yesterday. For nearly 200 million years before humans developed a capacity to reason, the emotional centers of the brain were hard at work. If we want to properly understand the evolution of the mind, we must explore this more primal capability that we share with other animals: the power to feel.

Emotions saturate every thought and perception with the weight of feelings. "The Emotional Mind" reveals that many of the distinctive behaviors and social structures of our species are best discerned through the lens of emotions. Even the roots of so much that makes us uniquely human – art, mythology, religion – can be traced to feelings of caring, longing, fear, loneliness, awe, rage, lust, playfulness, and more.

From prehistoric cave art to the songs of Hank Williams, Stephen T. Asma and Rami Gabriel explore how the evolution of the emotional mind stimulated our species' cultural expression in all its rich variety. Bringing together insights and data from philosophy, biology, anthropology, neuroscience, and psychology, "The Emotional Mind" offers a new paradigm for research into the complex origins of human uniqueness.

About the Author

Stephen T. Asma is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago and a founding Fellow of its Research Group in Mind, Science and Culture. He is the author of seven books, including "Against Fairness", "On Monsters", and "Why We Need Religion".

Rami Gabriel is the author of "Why I Buy". He is Associate Professor of Psychology at Columbia College Chicago and a founding Fellow of the college's Research Group in Mind, Science and Culture.