≡ 

Search by Category

Recent Posts

BLOGS Aug 2017
BLOGS Jun 2017
BLOGS Apr 2017
BLOGS Feb 2017
BLOGS Jan 2017
BLOGS Dec 2016
BLOGS Nov 2016
BLOGS Oct 2016
BLOGS Sep 2016
BLOGS Jul 2016
BLOGS May 2016
BLOGS Apr 2016
BLOGS Mar 2016
BLOGS Feb 2016
BLOGS Nov 2015
BLOGS Aug 2015
BLOGS Jul 2015
BLOGS Jun 2015
BLOGS May 2015
BLOGS Apr 2015
BLOGS Mar 2015
BLOGS Feb 2015
BLOGS Jan 2015
BLOGS Dec 2014
BLOGS Nov 2014
BLOGS Oct 2014
BLOGS Sep 2014
BLOGS Aug 2014
BLOGS Jul 2014
BLOGS Jun 2014
BLOGS May 2014
BLOGS Apr 2014
BLOGS Mar 2014
BLOGS Feb 2014
BLOGS Jan 2014
BLOGS Dec 2013
BLOGS Sep 2013
BLOGS Jul 2013
BLOGS Jun 2013
BLOGS May 2013
BLOGS Apr 2013
BLOGS Feb 2013
BLOGS Jan 2013
BLOGS Dec 2012
BLOGS Oct 2012
BLOGS Jul 2012
BLOGS Apr 2012
BLOGS Feb 2012
BLOGS Dec 2011
BLOGS Aug 2011
BLOGS May 2011
BLOGS Apr 2011
BLOGS Jan 2011
Share |
Jul 2014 by PCI College

Bite-Sized Book Review: 'A Mind So Rare' by Merlin Donald

'A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness' by Merlin Donald is reviewed this week by Dr. Derek Dorris, PCI College Head of Psychology

Merlin Donald’s “A Mind So Rare” stands as a deeply engaging and insightful counterpoint to hardline neuroscientific attempts to “explain away” consciousness as a non-functional by-product of neural activity. For a subject that has continued to defy most approaches in one major fashion or another, Donald’s unique evolutionary account of consciousness remains perhaps one of the most comprehensive approaches yet.

Referencing and examining research from the fields of neuroscience, clinical, cognitive, developmental, and cultural psychology and bridging it with data from anthropology and evolutionary biology, he takes us on a step by step tour of the building blocks of the construct across its most prominent states of definition. Donald shows us how those elements of human consciousness that we deem as special and even unique are to be found in some degree right throughout the evolutionary chain and, as we proceed up the chain towards primates and humans, what we find is an abundance of these abilities and, with them, an increasingly outward orientation and independent relationship with the environment. That is until we get to modern humans when that relationship folds back on itself.

The author makes a few leaps along the way but never loses the audience’s train of understanding and, in an audacious yet compelling attempt to explain the often dodged question of experience itself, he ultimately weaves his evolutionary model with the external world by making the tangible biological basis to consciousness and the more intangible construct of culture mutually dependent. It’s a fitting highpoint to a fascinating read.

Dr. Derek Dorris (July 2014)
Head of Psychology & Head of Academia

What our Students Say

“The course has opened up my mind and my emotions to all aspects of human life both positive and negative. Because of this, I believe I am a much more rounded person & the possibilities are endless. For me the practical application along with the academic understanding really enriches the course...”
Susan Gorman - BSc (Hons) in Addiction Counselling Graduate

What our Students Say

"Well done to the tutor, he brought the best out in all of us and has great personality. Great tutor, and explains everything so well. Sad it has come to an end"
Certificate Student 2013, Dublin City Centre
Web Design by Active Online © Copyright 2012 PCI College
PCI College, Corrig House, Old Naas Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, Ireland
Tel: +353 (0)1 464 2268 info@pcicollege.ie
Privacy statement |Terms & Conditions |websites for education |