Why this book?
Nicholas Humphrey is our Darwin of the human mind. I first came across him in the mid-1980s when his television series The Inner Eye was broadcast. It was a revelation to me that such an elegant, comprehensive, and beautiful theory as his existed, explaining the evolution and nature of human consciousness. I bought the accompanying book at once, and it remains for me the best explanation of consciousness—a constant source of inspiration, including for my novels. Humphrey’s social intelligence theory remains, after forty years, the most widely accepted explanation of the evolution of consciousness.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
In 1971 Nicholas Humphrey spent three months at Dian Fossey's gorilla research centre in Rwanda. It was there, among the mountain gorillas that he began to focus on the philosphical and scientific puzzle that has fascinated him ever since: the problem of how a human being or animal can know what it is like to be itself. The Inner Eye describes where these original speculations led: to Humphrey's now celebrated theories of the 'social function of intellect' and of human beings as
natural born 'mind-readers'. Easy to…