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An anthropology of puzzles : the role of puzzles in the origins and evolution of mind and culture

Author: Marcel Danesi
Publisher: London, UK ; New York : Bloomsbury Publishing, Plc, 2018.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"An Anthropology of Puzzles argues that the human brain is a "puzzling organ" which allows humans to literally solve their own problems of existence through puzzle format. Noting the presence of puzzles everywhere in everyday life, Marcel Danesi looks at puzzles in society since the dawn of history, showing how their presence has guided large sections of human history, from discoveries in mathematics to  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Danesi, Marcel, 1946-
Anthropology of puzzles.
London, UK ; New York : Bloomsbury Publishing, Plc, 2018
(DLC) 2018030442
(OCoLC)1043395986
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Marcel Danesi
ISBN: 9781350089877 1350089877 9781350089860 1350089869
OCLC Number: 1076271118
Description: 1 online resource.
Contents: Cover page; Halftitle page; Series page; Title page; Copyright page; Contents; Figures; Tables; Preface; Acknowledgments; 1 Puzzles in Mind and History; Riddles, puzzles, and games; Historical sketch; Main puzzle types; Solving puzzles; Puzzle archetypes; Puzzles and human intelligence; 2 Riddles; Riddles as oral tradition; Solving riddles; Riddles and metaphor; Riddles and the origins of culture; 3 Word Games; Anagrams and acrostics; Cryptograms; Word squares, word searches, crosswords, and doublets; The ludic nature of language; 4 Visual Puzzles; Optical illusions; Vanishing tricks; Rebuses. Geometric puzzlesThe tangram, the jigsaw, and the golden ratio; Mazes; Visual imaging; 5 Puzzles in Mathematics; The Ahmes papyrus; The magic square; Alcuin's propositiones; Fibonacci's Liber Abaci; Recreational mathematics; Mathematical method; Puzzle memes; 6 Puzzles and Logic; The nature of logic; The Monty Hall problem; Paradoxes and cognition; Logic deconstructed; Sudoku; Logic and imagination; 7 Puzzles and Human Intelligence; Homo ludens; Games of chance; Human intelligence; Mind and culture; Concluding remarks; References; Index.
Responsibility: Marcel Danesi.

Abstract:

"An Anthropology of Puzzles argues that the human brain is a "puzzling organ" which allows humans to literally solve their own problems of existence through puzzle format. Noting the presence of puzzles everywhere in everyday life, Marcel Danesi looks at puzzles in society since the dawn of history, showing how their presence has guided large sections of human history, from discoveries in mathematics to disquisitions in philosophy. Danesi examines the cognitive processes that are involved in puzzle making and solving, and connects them to the actual physical manifestations of classic puzzles. Building on a concept of puzzles as based on Jungian archetypes, such as the river crossing image, the path metaphor, and the journey, Danesi suggests this could be one way to understand the public fascination with puzzles. As well as drawing on underlying mental archetypes, the act of solving puzzles also provides an outlet to move beyond biological evolution, and Danesi shows that puzzles could be the product of the same basic neural mechanism that produces language and culture. Finally, Danesi explores how understanding puzzles can be a new way of understanding our human culture."--Bloomsbury Publishing.

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Puzzles-inclusive of riddles, games, optical illusions, enigmas, oracles, labyrinths-appeal to the individual human mind and to collective cultural traditions, from prehistory up to today, and around Read more...

 
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