Homo Mimeticus

A New Theory of Imitation

Nidesh Lawtoo

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Monograph - paperback

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Genealogy of one of the most ancient and influential concepts in western thought: Mimesis

Imitation is, perhaps more than ever, constitutive of human originality. Many things have changed since the emergence of an original species called Homo sapiens, but in the digital age humans remain mimetic creatures: from the development of consciousness to education, aesthetics to politics, mirror neurons to brain plasticity, digital simulations to emotional contagion, (new) fascist insurrections to viral contagion, we are unconsciously formed, deformed, and transformed by the all too human tendency to imitate—for both good and ill. Crossing disciplines as diverse as philosophy, aesthetics, and politics, Homo Mimeticus proposes a new theory of one of the most influential concepts in western thought (mimesis) to confront some of the hypermimetic challenges of the present and future.

Written in an accessible yet rigorous style, Homo Mimeticus appeals to both a specialized and general readership. It can be used in courses of modern and contemporary philosophy, aesthetics, political theory, literary criticism/theory, media studies, and new mimetic studies.

Ebook available in Open Access.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Watch the recording of the book launch: https://youtu.be/3fRhGvbv0Pg

Introduction: Drawing Mimetic Studies 

Chapter 1: Birth of Homo Mimeticus 
Chapter 2: Vita Mimetica in the Cave 
Chapter 3: Sameness and Difference Replayed 

Chapter 4: The Plasticity of Mimesis 
Chapter 5: On Animal and Human Mimicry 
Chapter 6: The Human Chameleon 

Chapter 7: Banality of Evil/Mimetic Complexity 
Chapter 8: Vibrant Mimesis 
Chapter 9: The Age of Viral Reproduction 

Coda: The Complexity of Mimesis: A Dialogue with Edgar Morin 


Format: Monograph - paperback

Size: 234 × 156 × 17 mm

358 pages

Illustrated b/w

ISBN: 9789462703469

Publication: November 11, 2022

Languages: English

Stock item number: 151083

Nidesh Lawtoo is a philosopher and cultural/literary critic professor of Modern European Literature and Culture at Leiden University and principal investigator of the European Research Council project 'Homo Mimeticus'.
This book will make an important contribution to the discussion of mimesis in the humanities and in the social sciences.​ It will find readers in many countries convincing new generations of the importance of mimetic processes for human development.​
Christoph Wulf, Free University of Berlin