What are trees about?
- Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter by Terrence Deacon
Norton, 602 pp, £19.99, February 2012, ISBN 978 0 393 04991 6
Full disclosure: after a while, I began to skip. After a while longer, I began to skip a lot. That was reprehensible, but passages like: ‘but then a teleogenic process in which one critical dynamical component is a representational process that interprets its own teleodynamic tendency extends this convoluted causal circularity one level further’ started to get me down; as Deacon quite correctly remarks, ‘life and health are fragile.’ Also, I came to suspect that, when the terminology got to be heavy-going, that often masked the begging of questions that Deacon was most keen to answer. Some examples to follow.
The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.