From the Guardian:
The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski – review
Tim Radford finds Bronowski’s history of humanity, The Ascent of Man – reissued with a foreword by Richard Dawkins – as compelling as ever
“But the enduring freshness stems from something else. Bronowski had a gift for identifying the themes and advances that would seem just as vital 40 years on. He also had a gift for sentences minted with precision, and Dawkins picks out two of them in his foreword: “The hand is the cutting edge of the mind … The most powerful drive in the ascent of man is pleasure in his own skill.””
There you go.
The embodied mind and the function of play in a sentence.
“Wow. Oh wow.”
Tim Radford says:
“…The Ascent of Man is as compelling as ever. The brain, he understands, is not just an instrument for action. It is an instrument for preparation; it both drives the human hand and is driven by it; it is an instrument wired to learn, control speech, plan and make decisions.
“In the course of the last chapter, he reminds us that from the printed book comes “the democracy of the intellect” and that humans are primarily ethical creatures. These are the words of a man who studied the devastation of Nagasaki.
”All our science, all our endeavour, is for something. “We are nature’s unique experiment to make the rational intelligence prove itself sounder than the reflex. Knowledge is our destiny.” This is not just a book about science. It is a book about why science matters, and what it really tells us. That is not a message likely to go out of date in a few decades.“