Comparative study makes it clear that higher animals have minds of a sort, and evolutionary fact and logic demand that minds should have evolved gradually as well as bodies and that accordingly mind-like (or ‘mentoid,’ to employ a barbarous word that I am driven to coin because of its usefulness) properties must be present throughout the universe.

from The Phenomenon of Man (1955)

Portrait of Julian Huxley

Julian Huxley

Biologist
June 22, 1887 – February 14, 1975

Julian Sorell Huxley was a British evolutionary biologist, eugenicist, and internationalist. He was a proponent of natural selection, and a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century modern synthesis. He was secretary of the Zoological Society of London (1935–1942), the first Director of UNESCO, a founding member of the World Wildlife Fund and the first President of the British Humanist Association.

Huxley was well known for his presentation of science in books and articles, and on radio and television. He directed an Oscar-winning wildlife film. He was awarded UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for the popularisation of science in 1953, the Darwin Medal of the Royal Society in 1956, and the Darwin–Wallace Medal of the Linnaean Society in 1958. He was also knighted in that same year, 1958, a hundred years after Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace announced the theory of evolution by natural selection. In 1959 he received a Special Award of the Lasker Foundation in the category Planned Parenthood – World Population. Huxley was a prominent member of the British Eugenics Society and was its president from 1959–1962.

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Mentioned in 13 documents

Laura Huxley

A Beautiful Death

When Aldous Huxley was on his deathbed, he asked his wife Laura to administer him with LSD. She agreed. Two weeks after her husband’s death, Laura wrote this moving and detailed account of Aldous’s last days to her brother-in-law, Julian.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Life and the Planets

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin explores the concept of complexification in the universe, focusing on the ever-increasing combination of smaller elements into larger structures, and then extrapolates this behavior to humanity's current situation. What if the human species is an intermediary evolutionary stage, and what would the next rung on the ladder look like? Teilhard suggests that it will involve the merging-together of all humanity into a divine, planetized consciousness. Originally delivered as a lecture at the French Embassy in Peking (Beijing), China, later published in Études and The Future of Man.

Dean Wooldridge

Mechanical Man

A report on modern attempts to account for the origin and properties of living organisms, including man, by means of the principles of physics. It concludes that biology is a branch of physical science, and man is only (and astoundingly) a complex kind of machine.

Erwin Schrödinger

Mind and Matter

Based on the Tarner Lectures delivered at Trinity College in Cambridge, Mind and Matter is Erwin Schrödinger's investigation into a relationship which has eluded and puzzled philosophers since the earliest times.

Donald Dulchinos

Neurosphere

According to Donald Dulchinos, the real action on the Internet isn’t in the realm of commerce. It is, plain and simple, in the realm of religion. But not exactly that old-time religion. This book is about the spiritual impact of our increasing ability to communicate quickly and with enhanced evolution. It's about our search for meaning, our hunger for a glimpse at humanity's future development in whichâ€"frighteningly or excitingly,"the trend is clearly toward increasing integration of telecommunications and information technology with the body itself. Electronic prosthetics, direct neural implants, and the brain's control of electronic and mechanical limbs move the boundary that used to exist between human and machine to some undefined frontier inside our bodies, our brains, and, perhaps, our minds.

Terence McKenna

Our Cyberspiritual Future

Terence McKenna holds court on our civilization's journey toward the eschaton at this weekend Esalen gathering. With humor and eloquence he riffs on topics from psychedelic states and alien intelligences to time travel and VR. McKenna argues we're evolving toward an unimaginable state of accelerating novelty, propelled by advancing technology. A mind-expanding ride for the open-minded psychonaut or armchair traveler, guided by one of the twentieth century's most eclectic thinkers.

Ludwig von Bertalanffy

Robots, Men, and Minds

Based on lectures delivered as The Inaugural Lectures in The Heinz Werner Lecture Series at Clark University (Worcester, Mass.) in January 1966, the book introduces new conceptions of humans and their world. After discussing the advantages and drawbacks of humanity's propensity for the symbolic construction of reality, it focuses on the systems approach to an understanding of the species. The author warns against the common error of identifying cybernetics with general systems theory. No matter how complex the cybernetic system, it "can always be resolved into feedback circuits" and thought of in terms of "linear causality." The regulative behavior of general systems is determined by goal-directed, dynamic interaction between many forces and variables in an open system. Bertalanffy points out that "no comprehensive theory of systems exists today." As a model, however, the approach has many advantages, such as obviating the need for the "ghost in the machine" and suggesting some solutions to the mind-body problem.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Formation of the Noösphere

The noösphere is the sum-total of mental activity which emerges out of a complex biosphere, and in this essay Teilhard describes how our planet is growing its very own mind. Published in Revue des Questions Scientifiques (Louvain) and later The Future of Man.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Phenomenon of Man

Visionary theologian and evolutionary theorist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin applied his whole life, his tremendous intellect, and his great spiritual faith to building a philosophy that would reconcile religion with the scientific theory of evolution. In this timeless book (whose original French title better translates to ‘The Human Phenomenon’), Teilhard argues that just as living organisms sprung from inorganic matter and evolved into ever more complex thinking beings, humans are evolving toward an "omega point"—defined by Teilhard as a convergence with the Divine.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Place of Technology in a General Biology of Mankind

Teilhard argues that biology and technology are the same thing: technology is simply advanced biology which has reached a minimum threshold of self-awareness, allowing it to harvest and sheperd energy from its environment and utilize it to intelligently organize matter for further evolutionary development. Written after an address given in Paris at the Salle d’horticulture (National Society of Horticulture).

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Transformation and Continuation in Man of the Mechanism of Evolution

How does humanity fit into evolution's arc? Teilhard de Chardin argues that humanity represents not an endpoint, but an intensification of evolution's complexity and consciousness. As technology and social bonds grow, he sees not disaster but hope—perhaps mankind is evolving toward an “ultra-hominization,” a perfected global mind.

Aldous Huxley

The Ultimate Revolution

Huxley outlines what society’s ultimate revolution would look like: a scientific dictatorship where people will be conditioned to enjoy their servitude, and who will pose little opposition to the ruling oligarchy, as he puts it. He also takes a moment to compare his book Brave New World to George Orwell’s 1984, and considers the technique in the latter too outdated for actual implementation. Delivered at the UC Berkeley Language Center.

Marshall McLuhan

Understanding Media

When first published, Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media made history with its radical view of the effects of electronic communications upon man and life in the twentieth century. In Terrence Gordon’s own words, “McLuhan is in full flight already in the introduction, challenging us to plunge with him into what he calls ‘the creative process of knowing.’” Much to the chagrin of his contemporary critics McLuhan’s preference was for a prose style that explored rather than explained. Probes, or aphorisms, were an indispensable tool with which he sought to prompt and prod the reader into an “understanding of how media operate” and to provoke reflection.