All normal human beings alive in the last fifty thousand years appear to have possessed, in Mark Turner's phrase, 'impressively atful minds'. Cognitively modern minds produced a staggering list of behavioural singularities - science, religion, mathematics, language, advanced tool use, decorative dress, dance, culture, art - that seems to indicate a mysterious and unexplained discontinuity between us and all other living things. This brute fact gives rise to some tantalizing questions: How did the artful mind emerge? What are the basic mental operations that make art possible for us now, and how do they operate? These are the questions that occupy the distinguished contributors to this book, which emerged from a year-long Getty-funded research project hosted by the Centre for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences at Stanford.

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