Sapiens Themes

Yuval Noah Harari
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The vital historical role of shared myths

The use of fictive language to develop shared myths allows sapiens to cooperate in extremely large groups, making them the dominant species of the planet. All shared myths are intersubjective, in that they do not exist in objective reality, but are created by the shared imagination of millions of individuals. The death of a single individual, therefore, is not enough to eliminate a shared a myth. Although not “real” in an objective sense, shared myths are essential for human cooperation. The human brain cannot manage more than 150 personal relationships, thus cooperation in larger groups requires an imagined order on which all agree. One of the most prevalent examples of shared myths is money. Money, particularly in its modern forms, has no intrinsic value. There is no objective reason why people should accept money in return for tangible goods and services like food...

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This section contains 2,241 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sapiens Study Guide
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