a better title for this book would havve been, "What the brain does." if you don't think my suggested title is any different from the actual one, this would be a good book for you. if you think that my title and the actual one are indeed different, then you probably already know all the info in this book.
this is a good book, but it's aimed more at people just begining to explore what's happening inside a persons skull. it's well presented, though a bit long on examples. my only real gripe is that the author tends to make the same point several times before moving on to the next one. but then so did all my teachers in high school. i listened to this book on my android at x1.5 speed which made it much better to listen to. at regular speed the narration is a might slow, but maybe that's just me. well read, just needed to pick up the pace a bit.
I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, and horror the most. To improve, I read about language, psychology, spirituality, and art. I read about computer science and business for professional reasons.
Another of Pinker's awesome books. This book synthesizes and describes studies of the human mind. Academic disciplines such as biology, psychology, cognitize science, and the arts are categorized with examples of how knowledge of human capabilities has been built. Topics such as language and speech, visual phenomena, logic and reasoning, quantative measurement making, likes and dislikes, social science, art appreciation, and philosophy are covered. The vast range of topics, and Pinker's unique way of describing things, make this an awesome book for both educational and personal knowledge development
A great, easy to digest, and thorough walk through of cognitive processes. Humorous when it needs to be. Well put together.
As far as non-fiction works, it ranks highly due to the amount of information kept inside. The neurology which lead to the enduring concepts of social biology, ideology, and, of course, natural selection takes up the majority of the book, starting out with how the brain functions on the most basic levels, then building to what the brain's natural functions can accomplish through investigation and imagination.
I found the chapter called Family Values to be a most entertaining section because of the various relationship scenarios Pinker discusses and evaluates. No matter what section you're in - Kith and Kin, Parents and Children, Brothers and Sisters, Men and Women, Husbands and Wives, Rivals, Friends and Acquaintances, Allies and Enemies, Humanity - Pinker breaks down the need for these relationships and how they helped shape the history of our (and other creatures') evolution and how they will guide our future.
I enjoyed the discussion of which problems 'continue to baffle the modern mind'. Whether it's the consciousness of sentience or subjective experience, what constitutes the self, free will, meaning, knowledge, and morality. This philosophical section discusses the past approaches to defining the previous words as well as the solution that he's partial to: "We are organisms ... and our minds are organs, not pipelines to the truth. Our minds evolved by natural selection to solve problems that were life-and-death matters to our ancestors, not to commune with correctness of to answer any question we are capable of asking. We cannot hold ten thousand words in short-term memory. We cannot see in ultraviolet light. We cannot mentally rotate an object in the fourth dimension. And perhaps we cannot solve conundrums like free will and sentience." He then goes on to wonder if there are greater creatures in the universe who have evolved to greater intellectual powers than we maintain.
I was amazed at how the simplest concepts of biological evolution can provide solutions to the greatest questions that history has thrown our way. Pinker describes how the brain and/or imagination works very well and, though I didn't laugh out loud, there were several smiles on my face due to Pinker's ability to explain the concepts thoroughly.
The narrator, Mel Foster, takes his time with the text and is sure to pronounce things well, even in places where it would be common to get tongue-tied. Though the simple subject matter of the brain and its evolution covers a wide range of results, the vast information is covered clearly, illustrating how the brain computes the simplest and most complicated concepts.
too many lengthy discussions about research on visual perception for example, or too long on theory of evolution. The author seems happy to display an encyclopedic knowledge about various subjects connected to the question of "how the mind works". But he fails to bring out the essence, unless this is done at the end of the book - but I did not have the patience to listen to 40 hours of this material to get to this point, if it is there.
Another book on the mind, much shorter and I hope, much more to the point.
Had the author not attributed everything to the evolution theory. Also, if the book would have concentrated more on backing the text to the title. Too many theories were told. Not enough, this is why some people do this, and why some people do that.
I wish I could get my money back. I'm not even half-way through he first section of 4 sections. I can't stomach anymore.
Retired economics professor. Looking for something funnier than Republicans bitching about Obama's handling of the economy they created and have done everything possible to keep from recovery hoping to beat the Democrats in 2012. Hard to beat that scenario.
The author explors the subject in many unique ways. He opens the reader's mind to show how it works.
His quirkey humor
The reader is excellent. Every word is clear.
A ride through the brain to explore the mind.
This is our second Pinker book. A gifted researcher, a brilliant mind, and an interesting writer.
The information needs to be updated to stay relevant. While the ideas were interesting in the early 2000s, they're a bit out of date now.
A documentary, yes, but again, not a sound one.
Discovery Channel used to have Shark Week. PBS Nova should have a full month on "How the Mind Works" base on Steven Pinker's theories. While it was interesting to read, it was also frustrating to finish because the subject just got draining after a while.
Some of his examples, like family incest, almost became unbearable to read. I really wanted to skip that part because it seemed like Pinker went on for over an hour on incest. It just seemed like that they author was being infatuated on incest and I still don't understand how the mind works on this disgusting sexual taboo.
This book is hard to understand because there are so many examples that you will be overwhelm and after a while none of it makes any sense.
I still don't understand at what I read. There are far better books out there on this subject, like "The Mind and the Brain". That book has a better structure and course of plan to tell you what you need to know.