The Literate Mind: A Study of Its Scope and Limitations (Paperback)
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Literacy is about 5,000 years old. Since it was invented it has transformed human societies and knowledge fundamentally. Indeed, civilisation is built on literacy. What is it about the process of making marks on paper or other surfaces that gives literacy this remarkable power?'The Literate Mind: A Study of Its Scope and Limitations' proposes that the evolved, pre-literate qualities of the human mind combined with the representational capacities of alphabets and other symbol systems provide uniquely powerful means for the generation and storage of knowledge. The creation, storage and sharing of texts augment the social and cognitive capacities of human minds and allow us to develop social institutions within which further new knowledge can be deployed and used. Taking an approach that is equally applicable to print and digital media, the book draws on evolutionary theory and the theory of computation to explain the remarkable power of literacy and its transformational effects on human society and knowledge. It demonstrates that the universe of possible texts is infinite in extent, and proposes that the combination of a reader and a text can be treated as an ecosystem of unlimited scope.
About the Author
ANDREW WELLS Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the London School of Economics' Institute of Social Psychology, UK.ANDREW WELLS Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the London School of Economics' Institute of Social Psychology, UK.