Three Prehistoric Inventions That Shaped Us

by David M. Johnson (Author)
Monographs XVI, 192 Pages


Both Darwin and neo-Darwinist theorists like Stephen Jay Gould were wrong to suppose that human nature and the human mind arose out of biological and historical sources alone. Three Prehistoric Inventions That Shaped Us argues that humans are very different from other animals in certain respects and, because of those respects, some of the most important sources of the particular sort of human nature we possess at the present moment, and of the special types of thinking in which we now are able to engage, were cultural ones. To be more specific, it shows that our present-day human nature was shaped in fundamental ways by at least three intellectual inventions that some of our prehistoric ancestors made – namely, the inventions of religious consciousness, of domestication of animals, and of syntactically organized language.


XVI, 192
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2011 (July)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2011. XVI, 192 pp.

Biographical notes

David M. Johnson (Author)

David Martel Johnson received his A.B. from Kenyon College and his MA and his PhD from Yale University. He is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at York University, Toronto, where he has taught since 1965. He has edited (with Christina Erneling) The Future of the Cognitive Revolution (1997), (with Demetra Sfendoni-Mentzou and Jagdish Hattiangadi) Aristotle and Contemporary Science, Volume II (Peter Lang, 2000); and (with Christina Erneling) The Mind as a Scientific Object (2005). He also is the author of How History Made the Mind (2003).


Title: Three Prehistoric Inventions That Shaped Us