Home Page    ||    Publication List    ||    28 February 2001
Welcome to The Bookshelf

A site always Under Construction, with lots of favorite authors still in the backlog and new books constantly coming out. It features some of the books that I've learned a lot from, using custom links to amazon.com so you can quickly investigate price and availability (some favorites, alas, are out of print -- but used books are now on the web too).

More.... takes you to excerpts from the book or comments from me.


As you will see, my interests span anthropology,

biology,

cognitive sciences,

ethology,

climate,

evolution,

brains,

language,

the future

-- not to mention Patrick O'Brian novels and the Science Masters series.

You can click on the topics to see a collection of favorite books on the subject.

    click to order from amazon.com   click to order from amazon.com  click to order from amazon.com  click to order from amazon.com  click to order from amazon.com
 

And six more.

Recent Additions

There are three recent books which are exactly what you might want to give policymakers to help them sort through the more general issues of climate change.  Anyone who wishes to speak intelligently about ozone, greenhouse, and El Niño needs to read them. 

A Devil's Chaplain : Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love
Richard Dawkins

 

Is the Temperature Rising? The Uncertain Science of Global Warming by S. George Philander (Paperback ).  Written with grace and understatement for general readers, by someone deeply involved with modeling the climate, it covers much of a Princeton introductory course in the earth sciences.  The IPCC analysis of where gradual climate change is going, “Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis,” can be found at http://www.ipcc.ch

Floods, Famines, and Emperors : El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations
by
Brian Fagan. Paperback (March 2000.)  Archaeologists have this wonderful perspective on what’s gone wrong in the past, both with climate and human institutions.

The Two-Mile Time Machine
by Richard B. Alley
(Princeton University Press, 2000).  It is written for nonspecialists (Alley has gotten a lot of practice as a frequent commentator for Science news articles).  The book contains far more detail on abrupt climate change than the others.   So if you find yourself asking, “But how could they possibly know that?” you’ll find most of the answers in Alley’s excellent book.  Its final chapter about the future, alas, is informed by conventional economic extrapolation rather than by the more relevant perspective of high-risk management seen in medicine, re-insurance, and disaster planning. 

 


Antonio R. Damasio, The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness . This is clearly a must-read book for anyone wanting a neurologist's perspective on one of the greatest of the unsolved mysteries, human consciousness and the ways in which it exceeds that of the other apes. By the author of Descartes' Error.
The Tangled Wing : Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit
by Melvin J. Konner (Hardcover - April 2001)

"Indecently elegant—a beautifully written book by any standard—and it's about language, love, lust, learning and all the rest of our apes-and-beyond nature…. Every behavioral biology topic reflects the enlightenment of the past two decades since this classic book first appeared." — William H. Calvin.

"Melvin Konner is. . . the nearest we have to a poet laureate of behavioral biology. This is an indispensable book." — Robert Sapolsky

The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist
by Frans De Waal (Basic Books, 2001).

V. S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee, Phantoms in the Brain : Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind (William Morrow & Company, 1998). More....      amazon.com

George Lakoff, Moral Politics: What Conservatives Know That Liberals Don't (U of Chicago Press, 1996). More....      amazon.com
Daniel C. Dennett, Brainchildren : Essays on Designing Minds, 1984-1996 (Representation and Mind Series; MIT Press, 1998). More....      amazon.com
Mark Turner, The Literary Mind (Oxford University Press 1996). More....     amazon.com
E. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Stuart Shanker, Talbot J. Taylor, Apes, Language, and the Human Mind (Oxford University Press, May 1998). More....     amazon.com

David Brin, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? (Addison-Wesley 1998). More....     amazon.com
Richard Byrne, The Thinking Ape: Evolutionary Origins of Intelligence (Oxford Univ Press 1995). More....     amazon.com
Charles Darwin (edited by Paul Ekman), The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals 3rd Edition (Oxford Univ Press, 1998 reprint). More....     amazon.com
Terrence Deacon, The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain (W. W. Norton, August 1997). More....      amazon.com
Adrian Desmond, Huxley: From Devil's Disciple to Evolution's High Priest (Addison-Wesley, 1997). More....     amazon.com
Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel: Fates of Human Societies (W. W. Norton, 1997). More....     amazon.com
Jared Diamond, Why Is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality (BasicBooks -- Science Masters Series, 1997). More....     amazon.com
George Dyson, Darwin Among the Machines (Addison-Wesley, 1997). More....     amazon.com
Ernst Mayr, This is Biology: The Science of the Living World (Harvard University Press, March 1997). More....     amazon.com
David F. Noble, The Religion of Technology : The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention (Knopf 1997). More....     amazon.com
Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works (W. W. Norton, 1997). More....     amazon.com
Frans de Waal, Chimpanzee Politics: Sex and Power Among the Apes (revised edition, Johns Hopkins University Press 1998).
More.... amazon.com
Frans de Waal, Frans Lanting, Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape (University of California Press 1997). More....     amazon.com
E. O. Wilson, Consilience: Unity of Knowledge (Knopf 1998). More....     amazon.com
Richard Wrangham, Dale Peterson, Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (Houghton Mifflin, 1996). More....     amazon.com


More.... takes you to excerpts from the book or comments from me.


As you will see, my interests span anthropology, biology, cognitive sciences, ethology, climate, evolution, brains, language, the future -- not to mention Patrick O'Brian novels and the Science Masters series.

You can click on the topics to see a collection of favorite books on the subject.

Alphabetical Listing
Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, A Pattern Language : Towns, Buildings, Construction (Oxford University Press 1977). More....     amazon.com
Robert Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation (Basic Books 1984). More....     amazon.com

Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard (1973 Norton Lectures; Harvard University Press, 1976, 10th printing). More....     amazon.com
Peter Bernstein, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk (Wiley, 1996). More....     amazon.com
Derek Bickerton, Language and Species (University of Chicago Press, 1990). More....     amazon.com
Derek Bickerton, Language and Human Behavior (University of Washington Press, 1995). More....     amazon.com
Sven Birkerts, The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Information Age (Faber and Faber 1994). More....     amazon.com
Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn (Viking Penguin USA, 1994). More....     amazon.com
David Brin, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? (Addison-Wesley 1998). More....     amazon.com
Jacob Bronowski, The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination (Yale University Press, 1978, transcribed from 1967 lectures after the author died in 1974). More....     amazon.com
Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: Voyaging (Knopf, 1995; Princeton UP pb 1996). More....     amazon.com paperback
Richard Byrne, The Thinking Ape: Evolutionary Origins of Intelligence (Oxford Univ Press 1995). More....     amazon.com

William H. Calvin, Derek Bickerton, Lingua ex machina: Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky with the Human Brain (MIT Press, forthcoming in 1999). You can currently read a draft of the manuscript on the web.
William H. Calvin, The Cerebral Code: Thinking a Thought in the Mosaics of the Mind (MIT Press, 1996). More....     amazon.com
William H. Calvin, How Brains Think: Evolving Intelligence, Then and Now (Science Masters, BasicBooks, 1996). More....     amazon.com
William H. Calvin and George A. Ojemann, Conversations with Neil’s Brain: The Neural Nature of Thought and Language (Addison-Wesley, 1994). More....     amazon.com
William H. Calvin, How the Shaman Stole the Moon (Bantam 1991) More....     amazon.com
William H. Calvin, The Ascent of Mind: Ice Age Climates and the Evolution of Intelligence (Bantam 1990) More....     amazon.com
William H. Calvin, The Cerebral Symphony (Bantam 1989). More....     amazon.com
William H. Calvin, The River That Flows Uphill: A Journey from the Big Bang to the Big Brain (Sierra Club Books 1987) More....     amazon.com
William H. Calvin, The Throwing Madonna: Essays on the Brain (McGraw-Hill 1983, Bantam 1991). More....     amazon.com
Noam Chomsky, Language and Thought (Anshen Transdisciplinary Lectureships in Art, Science and the Philosophy of Culture, Monograph 3, Moyer Bell Ltd., 1994).
More....     amazon.com
Paul Colinvaux, Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare (Princeton University Press 1982). More....     amazon.com
Helena Cronin, The Ant and the Peacock (Cambridge University Press 1992). More....     amazon.com
Gary Cziko, Without Miracles: Universal Selection Theory and the Second Darwinian Revolution (MIT Press, 1995). More....     Amazon

More.... takes you to excerpts from the book or comments from me.


As you will see, my interests span anthropology, biology, cognitive sciences, ethology, climate, evolution, brains, language, the future -- not to mention Patrick O'Brian novels and the Science Masters series.

You can click on the topics to see a collection of favorite books on the subject.


Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species (London 1859). More....     amazon.com
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (London 1871). More....     amazon.com
Charles Darwin (edited by Paul Ekman), The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals 3rd Edition (Oxford Univ Prress, 1998 reprint). More....     amazon.com
Michael White, John R. Gribbin, Darwin: A Life in Science (E P Dutton, 1995). More....     amazon.com
Richard Dawkins, Climbing Mount Improbable (Norton, 1996). More....     amazon.com
Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden (Science Masters, BasicBooks, 1995). More....     amazon.com
Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design (Norton, 1986). More....     amazon.com
Richard Dawkins, The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene (Oxford UP, 1982). More....     amazon.com
Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford UP, 1976). More....     amazon.com
Terrence Deacon, The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain (W. W. Norton, August 1997). More....      amazon.com
Daniel C. Dennett, Brainchildren : Essays on Designing Minds, 1984-1996 (Representation and Mind Series; MIT Press, 1998). More....      amazon.com
Daniel C. Dennett, Kinds of Minds: Toward an Understanding of Consciousness (Science Masters, BasicBooks, 1996). More....     amazon.com
Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Simon & Schuster 1995). More....     amazon.com
Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained (Little, Brown, 1991). More....     amazon.com
Daniel C. Dennett, The Intentional Stance (MIT Press, 1987). More....     amazon.com
Daniel C. Dennett, Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting (MIT Press, 1984). More....     amazon.com
Daniel C. Dennett, Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology (MIT Press, 1978). More....     amazon.com
Daniel C. Dennett, Content and Consciousness (Routledge and Kegal Paul 1969). More....     amazon.com

More.... takes you to excerpts from the book or comments from me.


As you will see, my interests span anthropology, biology, cognitive sciences, ethology, climate, evolution, brains, language, the future -- not to mention Patrick O'Brian novels and the Science Masters series.

You can click on the topics to see a collection of favorite books on the subject.

Adrian Desmond, Huxley: From Devil's Disciple to Evolution's High Priest (Addison-Wesley, 1997). More....     amazon.com
Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel: Fates of Human Societies (W. W. Norton, 1997). More....     amazon.com
Jared Diamond, Why Is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality (BasicBooks -- Science Masters Series, 1997). More....     amazon.com
Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee (HarperCollins, 1992). More....     amazon.com
Merlin Donald, Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition (Harvard University Press, 1991). More....     amazon.com
Esther Dyson, RELEASE 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age (Broadway Books, 1997). More....     amazon.com
Freeman Dyson, Imagined Worlds (Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures) (Harvard University Press, 1997). More....     amazon.com
George Dyson, Darwin Among the Machines (Addison-Wesley, 1997). More....     amazon.com

Loren Eiseley, The Star Thrower (1976). More....     amazon.com
Brian Eno, A Year With Swollen Appendices: The Diary of Brian Eno (Faber and Faber, 1996). More....     amazon.com

Walter J. Freeman, Societies of Brains (Erlbaum, 1995). More....     amazon.com

Kathleen R. Gibson and Tim Ingold (Editors), Tools, Language and Cognition in Human Evolution (Cambridge University Press, 1993). More....     amazon.com
Jane Goodall, The Chimpanzees of Gombe (Harvard University Press, 1986). More....
James Gould and Carol Grant Gould, The Animal Mind (Scientific American Library, 1994). More....     amazon.com
Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (Harvard University Press, 1977). More....     amazon.com

Eugen Herrigel, Zen in the Art of Archery (Vintage 1999, reprints 1953).      amazon.com
J. Allan Hobson, The Chemistry of Conscious States (Little, Brown, 1994). More....     amazon.com
J. Allan Hobson, The Dreaming Brain (BasicBooks, 1988). More....     amazon.com
Douglas R. Hofstadter, Metamagical Themas (BasicBooks 1985). More....     amazon.com
Nicholas Humphrey, Consciousness Regained (Oxford University Press, 1983). More....     amazon.com


More.... takes you to excerpts from the book or comments from me.


As you will see, my interests span anthropology, biology, cognitive sciences, ethology, climate, evolution, brains, language, the future -- not to mention Patrick O'Brian novels and the Science Masters series.

You can click on the topics to see a collection of favorite books on the subject.


Ray Jackendoff, Patterns in the Mind (BasicBooks 1993). More....     amazon.com
Kay Redfield Jamison, Touched With Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament (Free Press 1993). More....     amazon.com
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness (Knopf 1995). More....     amazon.com
Mark Johnson, Moral Imagination: Implications of Cognitive Science for Ethics (University of Chicago Press 1993). More....     amazon.com
Mark Johnson, The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason (University of Chicago Press 1987). More....     amazon.com

Kevin Kelly, Out of Control: The Rise of Neobiological Civilization (Addison-Wesley 1994). More....     amazon.com
Melvin Konner, The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit (Holt 1990 softcover). More....     amazon.com

John Maynard Smith and Eors Szathmary The Major Transitions in Evolution (Freeman 1995). More.... s.htmp;   amazon.com
Ernst Mayr, This is Biology: The Science of the Living World (Harvard University Press, March 1997). More....     amazon.com
Ernst Mayr, One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought (Harvard University Press, 1992). More....     amazon.com
Ernst Mayr, Toward a New Philosophy of Biology (Harvard University Press, 1988). More....     amazon.com
Jonathan Miller, Darwin for Beginners (Pantheon Books 1983). More....     amazon.com
Marvin Minsky, Society of Mind (S and S, 1987). More....     amazon.com

David F. Noble, The Religion of Technology : The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention (Knopf 1997). More....     amazon.com

Patrick O'Brian, the Aubrey-Maturin Series of 19 novels (Norton, 1970ff). More....

Heinz Pagels, The Dreams of Reason (Simon and Schuster 1988). More....    
Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works (W. W. Norton, 1997). More....     amazon.com
Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct (Morrow, 1994). More....     amazon.com

Israel Rosenfield, The Strange, Familiar, and Forgotten: An Anatomy of Consciousness (Knopf 1992). More....     amazon.com

More.... takes you to excerpts from the book or comments from me.


As you will see, my interests span anthropology, biology, cognitive sciences, ethology, climate, evolution, brains, language, the future -- not to mention Patrick O'Brian novels and the Science Masters series.

You can click on the topics to see a collection of favorite books on the subject.


Oliver Sacks, An Anthropologist from Mars (Knopf 1995) More....     amazon.com
Oliver Sacks, Seeing Voices (University of California Press, 1989). More....     amazon.com
Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Roger Lewin, Kanzi (Wiley, 1994). More....     amazon.com
Peter Schwartz, The Art of the Long View (Doubleday, 1991). More....     amazon.com softcover
Linda Simon, Genuine Reality: A Life of William James (Harcourt Brace 1998). More....     amazon.com
Ian Stewart, Nature's Numbers (Science Masters, 1995). More....     amazon.com
Tom Stoppard, Arcadia (Faber and Faber, 1996). More....     amazon.com

Lewis Thomas, Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony (Viking 1979). More....     amazon.com
Mark Turner, The Literary Mind (Oxford University Press 1996). More....     amazon.com

Frans de Waal, Frans Lanting, Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape (University of California Press 1997). More....     amazon.com
Frans de Waal, Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong (Harvard UP 1996). More....     amazon.com
Frans de Waal, Peacemaking Among Primates (Harvard UP 1989). More....     amazon.com
Frans de Waal, Chimpanzee Politics: Sex and Power Among the Apes (Harper and Row 1982). More....     amazon.com
Jonathan Weiner, The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time (Knopf, 1994). More....     amazon.com
E. O. Wilson, Consilience: Unity of Knowledge (Knopf 1998). More....     amazon.com
Richard Wrangham, Dale Peterson, Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (Houghton Mifflin, 1996). More....     amazon.com

J. Z. Young, Philosophy and the Brain (Oxford University Press, 1987). More....     amazon.com

On the reading pile
Steven M. Stanley, Children of the Ice Age: How a Global Catashrophe Allowed Humans to Evolve (Crown 1996; Freeman pb 1998). More....     amazon.com
Ernst Mayr, William B. Provine (editors), The Evolutionary Synthesis : Perspectives on the Unification of Biology (Harvard University Press, 1998). More....     amazon.com
Elliott Sober, David Sloan Wilson, Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior (Harvard University Press, 1998).
"Their book provides a panoramic view of altruism throughout the animal kingdom - from self-sacrificing parasites to insects that subsume themselves in the superorganism of a colony to the human capacity for selflessness - even as it explains the evolutionary sense of such behavior. Sober and Wilson offer a detailed case study of scientific change as well as an indisputable argument for group selection as a legitimate theory in evolutionary biology." More....     amazon.com
S. George Philander, Is the Temperature Rising? : The Uncertain Science of Global Warming (Princeton University Press, 1998). First chapter is available. More....     amazon.com .
George Lakoff, Moral Politics: What Conservatives Know That Liberals Don't (University of Chicago 1996).
Lakoff reveals how family-based moral values determine views on such diverse issues as crime, gun control, taxation, social programs, and the environment. He shows why it is consistent for conservatives to oppose subsidies for the poor but endorse them for business, or for liberals to oppose the death penalty but support abortion. He also explains why liberal and conservative stances contain the constellations of policies they do.
More....     amazon.com .

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