Complex Life: Nonmodernity and the Emergence of Cognition and Culture, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Complex Life

Nonmodernity and the Emergence of Cognition and Culture, 1st Edition

By Alan Dean


156 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138700291
pub: 2019-09-27
SAVE ~$23.00
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 27th September 2019
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315204840
pub: 2019-07-15
from $20.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


This title was first published in 2000: Complex Life argues for the importance of the new perspective of non modern social theory in understanding human agency. Darwinian natural selection theory and complexity theory are used to provide new insights into human origins, mind and culture. Through bringing these ideas together it is argued that nature and culture are inseparably linked within human agency and that in consequence it is time to transcend the limitations of both modern and postmodern social science. This book argues that nature has never been controlled or transcended. Humankind is instead an emerged outcome of the historical interweaving of the environment, morphology, mind and culture. This wide-ranging analysis offers new insights into human nature for anthropologists and sociologists interested in human evolution, social theory or human agency.


'Some evolutionary biologists have drawn incorrect inferences about, say, incest taboos, because of their ignorance of anthropological data, or they have wasted everyone's time by starting again. Dean's review of incest in this book is a valuable correction.' Journal of Biosocial Science

Table of Contents

Introduction; From primate to human; The emergence of symbolic reasoning; Cognition and adaptation; Encountering the cultural world; Nature in culture; Nonlinearity in the social world; Nonmodernity and the emergence of cognition and culture; Bibliography.

About the Author

Alan Dean

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

If you are interested in Revivals in the Behavioral Sciences, please visit

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General