One of the Mulino catalogues most successful authors leads us into a surprising voyage into - and around - the mind. The analytical, impartial scrutiny of an alien, ordered to visit Earth and write up an account of the planets condition, gives the author a pretext to explain why we need something called "the mind" in order to comprehend human behaviour. The evidence left behind by the development of the human mind, from prehistoric stone artefacts to the highest expressions of civilisation, allow the author to recount how our mind was shaped by natural evolution. Adopting yet another perspective, the author reviews the cultural history of the mind from ancient Greece to contemporary times. Finally, since cognition cannot exist without emotion, this link is explored with a special digression on love, perhaps the minds most valuable product.
Paolo Legrenzi teaches Cognitive Psychology in the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Venice.