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Read and Download Online Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari in PDF and ePub. Go to the profile of Leisure Time. Yuval Noah Harari - Sapiens (A Brief History of Humankind) (2nd Hand 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari-PDF Books To Read,. site. New York Times BestsellerA Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a.
An Englishman grows up to think that the ugliness of Manchester and the slums of Liverpool have existed since the beginning of the world. LUCA [Last Universal Common Ancestor], the researchers say, was the common point of origin for three great domains of life—bacteria, archaea, which are bacteria-like single-cell prokaryotes, and the eukaryotes, a domain that includes all plants and animals [including Homo sapiens ].
Our language evolved as a way of gossiping. According to this theory … [s]ocial cooperation is our key for survival and reproduction. It is not enough for individual men and women to know the whereabouts of lions and bison.
It's much more important for them to know who in their band hates whom, who is sleeping with whom, who is honest, and who is a cheat. Most people can neither intimately know, nor gossip effectively about, more than human beings.
We are still animals, and our physical, emotional and cognitive abilities are still shaped by our DNA. Our societies are built from the same building blocks as Neanderthal or chimpanzee societies, and the more we examine these building blocks—sensations, emotions, family ties—the less difference we find between us and other apes.
How can an early twenty-first century person begin to understand his or her place in the universe? Increasingly wonderful—and ominous—answers to this question are represented by recent efforts to assemble a radically new syllabus for human history. The best such effort is by Yuval Harari in Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind , in its first English edition and translation in Remarkably parallel to Harari's books, in both length of prehistoric retrospect and schedule of publication, are Michael Tomasello's anthropologically grounded A Natural History of Human Thinking and A Natural History of Human Morality Answered Mar 24, Make games people love.
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Is Yuval Harari a transhumanist? A person who just won the lottery or found new love and jumps from joy is not really reacting to the money or the lover. She is reacting to various hormones coursing through her bloodstream, and to the storm of electric signals flashing between different parts of her brain.
This is remarkably stupid. What persons feel and experience is not the same as what the hormones and electric signals in their bodies do, any more than the idea this sentence conveys is the same as the makeup of its black squiggles. Ultimately, Harari asserts, we will understand life in terms of non-life, sans teleology.
But a result of this way of thinking can be that one ends up smuggling in the teleology through the back door, ascribing consciousness and goal-seeking behavior to mindless matter in a manner reminiscent of a primitive animist. But he takes for granted that the right way to go about understanding the world is to reduce the high to the low.
Of course, the hard-core physicalist would say that the belief in mind is itself physical — a configuration of neurochemical structures and processes in the brain. Yet Harari never says any such thing. But it may be that to treat humans as if they were a species just like any other is to ignore what common sense as well as science broadly understood — that is, good thinking supported by evidence — tell us about them. In spite of the many things we share with other animals, humans appear to be exceptional.
Harari himself of course stresses some of the ways humans are unique such as our ability to talk about things that do not exist ; he just seems not to realize that his bottom-up approach will have a hard time accounting for this uniqueness. Like the tendency to reduce the high to the low, the idea that man is simply an animal has a long pedigree, and is hardly novel or shocking.
And are the great apes really particularly noisy? Chimpanzees, perhaps, but gorillas are rather stately, and we have nothing on many other species when it comes to noise.
Harari is constantly comparing humans to animals in a manner he intends to be unflattering to humans, and which therefore does justice to neither. Caitrin Nicol Keiper has suggested in the pages of this journal that, for various historical reasons, including the fact that very smart animals such as elephants and higher-order primates are not native to Europe, animals are underrated in the Western tradition. The result of this is that when people working in this tradition — as Harari undoubtedly is — view man as an animal, they tend to underrate man as well.
Harari still maintains a sense of human uniqueness by invoking the fictions of the mind, but he never strays far from presenting these merely as products of the necessity for cooperation, the pursuit of pleasure, or the drive for biological success in the form of survival and reproduction.
Here also his explanation of our world contradicts our ordinary experience — and not persuasively. Several times throughout the book he upbraids the human race for its treatment of the natural environment and of other species. One of the themes of Sapiens is how religious ideas are carried on more or less unconsciously by modern people who do not consider themselves religious.
The original Cognitive Revolution is the story of Adam and Eve eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, with ambiguous results. The Agricultural Revolution is the story of Cain and Abel: the first person to till the soil committed a crime that overshadows the world to this day. The Scientific Revolution is the story of the Tower of Babel: humans reached for the sky with dangerous consequences.
Nonetheless, his version of human history involves moral judgments that suggest he is not so thoroughly reductionist, or as cynical about the human condition, as he appears to be at first glance. But have scientists really discovered there is no soul? They were hardly likely to find it under a microscope or on an MRI, given the presumably immaterial quality of the soul.