Incomplete Nature

How Mind Emerged from Matter

Terrence W. Deacon (Author)

Overview | Formats

“A tour de force encompassing biology, neurobiology, metaphysics, information theory, physics, and semiotics.”—Publishers Weekly

As scientists study the minutiae of subatomic particles, neural connections, and molecular compounds, their attempts at a “theory of everything” harbor a glaring omission: they still cannot explain us, the thoughts and perceptions that truly make us what we are. A masterwork that brings together science and philosophy, Incomplete Nature offers a revolutionary, captivating account of how life and consciousness emerged, revealing how our desires, feelings, and intentions can be understood in terms of the physical world.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • April 2013
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34390-8
  • 6.1 × 9.3 in / 624 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverIncomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter


Endorsements & Reviews

“Contains many rewarding thoughts about life and mind and their place in nature.” — Nature

“Unprecedentedly comprehensive. . . . Imagine the consequences for science and society of having a physical explanation for functional, meaningful and conscious behavior no less scientific and accessible than our explanation for lightning. I believe Deacon provides just that.” — Psychology Today

“In his approach to the question of how sentience emerged from ‘dumb’ and ‘numb’ matter, Mr. Deacon mobilizes some radically new ideas.” — Wall Street Journal

“A profound shift in thinking that in magnitude can only be compared with those that followed upon the works of Darwin and Einstein.” — Robert E. Ulanowicz, author of A Third Window: Natural Life beyond Newton and Darwin

“Powered by Mayer’s unique reflections on the mythologies of social and linguistic order, Works & Days possesses a rare combination of artfulness, critical acumen, and personality. The end result is a book that is at once formally inventive and disturbingly of our times.” — Bruce H. Weber, coauthor of Darwinism Evolving

“Her latest collection, “Works and Days,” which came out this June, is among her very best, colliding daily struggles (menstruation, money) with natural obsessions (blue herons, mushrooms) and big unanswerable questions (Is motherhood virtuous? Whither patriarchy?). All of this is undergirded by a hefty serving of irony… Mayer writes the kind of nonsense that makes sense, and sense that is nonsense: I can’t think of a better centering device in these topsy-turvy times.” — Stuart Kauffman, author of Investigations

“Sly, spry and unpretentious...” — Kalevi Kull, professor, Department of Semiotics, Tartu University

Also by Terrence W. Deacon All

  1. Book CoverThe Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain


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