Our ability to think about the future is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. In The Invention of Tomorrow, cognitive scientists Thomas Suddendorf, Jonathan Redshaw, and Adam Bulley argue that its emergence transformed humans from unremarkable primates to creatures that hold the destiny of the planet in their hands.  

Drawing on their own cutting-edge research, the authors break down the science of foresight, showing us where it comes from, how it works, and how it made our world. Journeying through biology, psychology, history, and culture, they show that thinking ahead is at the heart of human nature—even if we often get it terribly wrong. Incisive and expansive, The Invention of Tomorrow offers a fresh perspective on the human tale that shows how our species clawed its way to control the future.

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Praise and reviews

“The authors of this exciting book argue vividly and convincingly that our ability to immerse ourselves mentally in past and future worlds is what makes us such a philosophizing, technologizing, and cogitating species. It’s a hot topic in cognitive neuroscience and a stroke of insight about what makes humans human.” —Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Rationality

“A fascinating perspective on what it means to be human, told with a clear voice and an expansive canvas… Sprinkled throughout the book are well-placed moments of deadpan humor to leaven the authoritative research.” —Kirkus

“Stimulating […] sure to captivate popular science readers. Fans of Steven Pinker will want to check this out.”—Publishers Weekly

“Why is our ability to think ahead enormously greater than it is in other species? The Invention of Tomorrow provides a fascinating and authoritative look at one of humanity’s most important and least explored powers.”—Richard Wrangham, Ruth Moore Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University, and author of Catching Fire

“A fascinating exploration of the power and potential of the human mind – and the importance of future thinking for the success of our species.”—Tali Sharot, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London and MIT, and author of The Influential Mind

“Meticulously researched, thought-provoking, and engrossing… The book is jam-packed with stories–some historical, some scientific–that are easy to follow. The authors punctuate the narrative with just the right amount of humor and incisive commentary.”— Karolina Lempert, Psychology Today

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