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Why are people often so unpredictable? Why do they do things which can often cause great personal harm even whey they know this to be the case? Chaos and Intoxication seeks to address these and many other enduring questions through a detailed discussion of the chaotic nature of human existence. Chaos and Intoxication explores three general areas: firstly neurobiology and genetics, where a Darwinian perspective on the evolution of the mind which draws attention to the way chance and uncertainty in development are structured by natural selection is explored. Also, key findings from current biological and medical research are reviewed, followed by a discussion of Gerald Edelman's theory of the evolution of the mind through natural selection. The second theme of cognition and collective action comprises of a discussion of evidence which indicates that the way we think is also subject to natural selection, both historically and within the comtemporary world and that there is a meaningful distinction between reason.
The final theme reviews recent research into chaos theory, order and complexity and brings together the preceding discussions of biology, psychology, the role of society and collective action into a general theory of chaos and human nature.
Alan Dean is Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Hull.