Charles Foster, "Being a Human: Adventures in Forty Thousand Years of Consciousness" (Metropolitan Books, 2021)
Listen now
Description
How did humans come to be who we are? In his marvelous, eccentric, and widely lauded book Being a Beast, legal scholar, veterinary surgeon, and naturalist extraordinaire Charles Foster set out to understand the consciousness of animal species by living as a badger, otter, fox, deer, and swift. Now, he inhabits three crucial periods of human development to understand the consciousness of perhaps the strangest animal of all—the human being. To experience the Upper Paleolithic era—a turning point when humans became behaviorally modern, painting caves and telling stories, Foster learns what it feels like to be a Cro-Magnon hunter-gatherer by living in makeshift shelters without amenities in the rural woods of England. He tests his five impoverished senses to forage for berries and roadkill and he undertakes shamanic journeys to explore the connection of wakeful dreaming to religion. For the Neolithic period, when humans stayed in one place and domesticated plants and animals, forever altering our connection to the natural world, he moves to a reconstructed Neolithic settlement. Finally, to explore the Enlightenment—the age of reason and the end of the soul—Foster inspects Oxford colleges, dissecting rooms, cafes, and art galleries. He finds his world and himself bizarre and disembodied, and he rues the atrophy of our senses, the cause for much of what ails us. Drawing on psychology, neuroscience, natural history, agriculture, medical law and ethics, Being a Human: Adventures in Forty Thousand Years of Consciousness (Metropolitan Books, 2021) is one man’s audacious attempt to feel a connection with 45,000 years of human history. This glorious, fiercely imaginative journey from our origins to a possible future ultimately shows how we might best live on earth—and thrive. Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. To discuss and propose the book for an interview you can reach her at [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/psychology
More Episodes
This installment of the EWP podcast will conclude our double episode feature on Haridas Chaudhuri and the roots of the California Institute of Integral Studies. This episode features a talk by Jim Ryan, who started teaching at CIIS in 1981, and became core faculty in 1986. He is the former...
Published 05/16/22
Realize your fullest leadership potential, claim your boldest vision, and prioritize the well-being of your team and world with this new science-based approach to leadership. In Boundless Leadership: The Breakthrough Method to Realize Your Vision, Empower Others, and Ignite Positive...
Published 05/13/22
Welcome to The Academic Life! In this episode you’ll hear about: Why failure is part of the hidden curriculum Why you can’t be creative or innovative without failing [sometimes a lot] How to learn from it, instead of sweeping it under the rug A failure our guest and our host each faced A...
Published 05/12/22