This book, by the author of Leaps of Faith: Science, Miracles, and the Search for Supernatural Consolation, collects together a series of controversial essays that probe what we think we know on a variety of topics. Dealing with the complex issues of evolutionary psychology in terms that most well-educated lay people can comprehend is no mean feat, but Professor Humphrey accomplishes this with both wit and style.
Nicholas Humphrey’s writings about the evolution of the mind have done much to set the agenda for contemporary psychology. Here, in a series of riveting essays, he invites us to ‘take another look’ at a variety of the central and not-so-central issues: the evolution of consciousness, the nature of the self, multiple personality disorder, the placebo effect, cave art, religious miracles, medieval animal trials, and social history. There are two common themes: they all concern the uneasy relation between minds and bodies, and they all take issue with received ideas.
This book was also reviewed in The Human Nature Review 2002 Volume 2: 88 ( 26 February ).