TO IMAGINE — to see that which is not there — is the startling ability that has fuelled human development and innovation through the centuries. As a species we stand alone in our remarkable capacity to refashion the world after the pictures in our minds.
Traversing the realms of science, politics, religion, culture, philosophy and history, Felipe Fernández-Armesto reveals the thrilling and disquieting tales of our imaginative leaps — from the first Homo Sapiens to the present day. Through groundbreaking insights in cognitive science, he explores how and why we have ideas in the first place, providing a tantalising glimpse into who we are and what we might yet accomplish. Fernández-Armesto shows that bad ideas are often more influential than good ones; that the oldest recoverable thoughts include some of the best; that ideas of Western origin often issued from exchanges with the wider world; and that the pace of innovative thinking is under threat.
Felipe Fernández-Armesto is the editor of The Oxford Illustrated History of the World. His books include Pathfinders (winner of the World History Association Book Prize), Food: A History (winner of the IACP Prize), Columbus (shortlisted for the NCR Book Award), and Millennium, on which CNN based a ten-part television series. He has won Spain’s national prizes for geography and food-writing, and holds the Gran Cruz de Alfonso el Sabio, the country’s highest award for services to education, science, and culture. He lives in Indiana and occupies the William P. Reynolds Chair in the history department at the University of Notre Dame.
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