How the Mind Works
"A model of scientific writing: erudite, witty, and clear." —New York Review of Books
In this Pulitzer Prize finalist and national bestseller, one of the world's leading cognitive scientists tackles the workings of the human mind. What makes us rational—and why are we so often irrational? How do we see in three dimensions? What makes us happy, afraid, angry, disgusted, or sexually aroused? Why do we fall in love? And how do we grapple with the imponderables of morality, religion, and consciousness? How the Mind Works synthesizes the most satisfying explanations of our mental life from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and other fields to explain what the mind is, how it evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel, laugh, interact, enjoy the arts, and contemplate the mysteries of life.
This edition of Pinker's bold and buoyant classic is updated with a new foreword by the author.
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Second, natural selection is not a puppetmaster that pulls the strings of behavior
directly. It acts by designing the generator of behavior: the package of information
-processing and goal-pursuing mechanisms called the mind. Our minds are ...
It is scientifically incorrect to say that war or any other violent behavior is
genetically programmed into our human nature. It is scientifically incorrect to say
that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive
A fluttering in the brain that causes a hurricane of behavior, if it were ever found,
would still be a cause of behavior and would not fit the concept of uncaused free
will that underlies moral responsibility. Either we dispense with all morality as an
And Sally's behavior depends just as much on whether she wants to escape the
danger—if she were a volunteer firefighter, or suicidal, or a zealot who wanted to
immolate herself to draw attention to a cause, or had children in the day-care ...
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What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - SpaceyAcey - LibraryThing
Pinker explains the computational theory of the mind in easy to understand prose for the layman. It's not all literature summarizing, he also inserts some of his own ideas on all sorts of topics ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - raschneid - LibraryThing
Very interesting, well-written, and comprehensive. I appreciated the overview of both computational and evolutionary psychology in one tome of a book; computational psychology is pretty much awesome ... Read full review