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Numbers and the making of us : counting and the course of human cultures / Caleb Everett.

Everett, Caleb, (author.).
Book Book (2017.)
Description: viii, 297 pages ; 22 cm
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2017.
1 of 1 copy available at NOBLE (All Libraries).
1 of 1 copy available at Bunker Hill Community College. (Show all copies)
0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Library Location Call Number Status Due Date
Bunker Hill Community College Stacks QA141 .E94 2017 (Text to Phone) Available -

  • ISBN: 9780674504431
  • ISBN: 0674504437
Bibliography, etc.: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents: Prologue: On the success of our species -- Part 1. Numbers pervade the human experience. 1. Numbers woven into our present ; 2. Numbers carved into our past ; 3. A numerical journey around the world today ; 4. Beyond number words : other kinds of numeric language -- Part 2. Worlds without numbers. 5. Anumeric people today ; 6. Quantities in the minds of young children ; 7. Quantities in the minds of animals -- Part 3. Numbers and the shaping of our lives. 8. Inventing numbers and arithmetic ; 9. Numbers and culture : subsistence and symbolism ; 10. Transformative tools.
Summary: Numbers and the Making of Us examines the origins and effects of numbers--words and other symbols for quantities. It focuses on the influence that numbers have had on human thought. As a result of this influence, the book claims, numbers transformed the human narrative. This transformation is supported by data from many disciplines: archaeology, linguistics, psychology, and primatology. The book surveys the types of number systems that have been innovated independently in languages around the world, most of which (like our own decimal system) owe themselves in one way or another to the shape of our hands. Furthermore, the book examines evidence from anumeric humans, such as those the author has conducted research with in Amazonia, as it advances the following claim: Numbers served as a pivotal cognitive invention, an underappreciated tool whose usage ultimately resulted in the societies most of us now live in. In short, the book suggests that verbal and written numbers served as a cognitive foundation of sorts, helping to establish the ground floor of all sorts of distinctly human behaviors. These include elaborate agriculture, writing, the telling of time, and many other aspects of the human experience that are all ultimately dependent on the simple invention of numbers.-- Provided by publisher.

Citation:

Everett, Caleb. "Numbers and the making of us : counting and the course of human cultures." Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2017.

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