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How the Mind Works Audiobook
How the Mind Works
Written by: 
Steven Pinker
Narrated by: 
Mel Foster
How the Mind Works Audiobook

How the Mind Works

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Publisher's Summary

In this delightful, acclaimed best seller, 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 new edition of Pinker’s bold and buoyant classic is updated with a new foreword by the author.

©2011 Steven Pinker (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Undeniably brilliant.” (Newsday)

"Big, brash, and a lot of fun.” (Time)

“Hugely entertaining.... always sparkling and provoking.” (Wall Street Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (816 )
5 star
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3.9 (658 )
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4.0 (668 )
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Performance
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  •  
    D. Defoe 11-12-12
    D. Defoe 11-12-12

    david25937

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    "Misleading Title"
    What would have made How the Mind Works better?

    The book started out good and seemed to be on topic. Not long into the book it was no longer about the mind. This should have been titled "An Argument for Evolution and Natural Selection". Never seemed to get back to how the mind works. After hours and hours of why birds have wings and how we grew eyes I just shut if off.


    Any additional comments?

    If you want a good book on Natural Selection this is a great listen. If you want a book on the mind look elsewhere.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Versh 05-31-16
    Versh 05-31-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Rich and Insightful Landmark Tome"

    Although the length seems daunting, every chapter was methodically built up and carefully explained in fascinating detail , at most times it was difficult to put down. Pinker has a gift for breaking abstract concepts into concrete metaphors, accumulating multiple lessons as if I feel like I finished a course in the computational theory of the mind. I highly recommend this book to anyone, it is well worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob 443 California, USA 04-22-16
    Bob 443 California, USA 04-22-16
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    1
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    "Soporific Narration"

    The narrator carefully enunciates every word and is careful to insert an automatic, irrelevant caricature of inflection. The book subject is quite interesting and entertainingly written, but the author's craft is entirely hidden by the mechanical, boring narration. It's so boring, it is actively irritating to listen to it. Read the book, it's worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david kiszkan 04-16-16
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    8
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    "Awesome"

    Explains so much of everything in the world. I recommend reading it at least once

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    frajz 03-02-16
    frajz 03-02-16
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    15
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    "extremely boring and not worth buying. "

    I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. It is as interesting as watching paint dry in the dark

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Prevatte 10-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Most Boring and Outdated Book Ever"

    Written in the floppy drive era...yikes! Boring and outdated...so many newer books out there!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Honolulu, HI 09-14-15
    Amazon Customer Honolulu, HI 09-14-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
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    "Thorough"

    Not as easy to consume as Better Angels or Blank Slate, but an admirably thorough discussion of... how the mind works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Hill 05-14-15
    Ryan Hill 05-14-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great brain food but wanted more "How", less "Why""
    Where does How the Mind Works rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I don't have a massive audiobook library yet, but this was one of the best. The performance was well-paced and enjoyable, and the book was stimulating, although a bit mislabeled in my opinion. Still, the title in part motivated me to buy the book, so I suppose from the author's perspective the book's title was perfect!


    What did you like best about this story?

    My favorite parts, and the reason I purchased the book, were about neuroscience and psychology, and the supporting examples of the computational theory of the mind. I'm not in any particular neuroscience theory camp, but I have learned a bit about it from my studies in cognition and learning as well as human-computer interaction. The neurobiology and psychology perspectives were what I was reading this book for.


    Which character – as performed by Mel Foster – was your favorite?

    N/A


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did not have an extremely emotional reaction to this book. It really isn't that kind of book, unless maybe one is somewhat insecure in their own beliefs or can't bear exposure to different perspectives.


    Any additional comments?

    While enjoyable and intellectually stimulating, I don't like the title of the book. As far as the book's content, it seemed like much less material was devoted to *how* the mind worked than to the author's explanation as to *why* he thought it worked that way. If the book had been more about *how* the mind worked, it would have made a much more useful read, at least to me.

    For those who are reading this review prior to purchasing the audiobook, you probably won't regret purchasing the book as long as you are a curious person; however, be aware that a huge portion of the book involves the author explaining why he thinks the mind works the way it does from a natural selection perspective, in comparison to the bits on how the brain does what it does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bliiir 05-11-15
    bliiir 05-11-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant!"

    Best non-fiction book I've digested this year. Linker is insightful, sharp and sympathetic in equal measures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oraxis 04-02-15
    Oraxis 04-02-15
    ratings
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    7
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    "Excellent treatment of a broad topic"
    Where does How the Mind Works rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have consumed countless books, lectures, seminars, and podcasts about science, skepticism, critical thinking, behavioral economics, evolution, meta-cognition, and everything else that this book touches on. Pinker goes above and beyond by linking it all together in an engaging way. The concepts are deep but he breaks them down in such a way that they become simple.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not applicable - this is non-fiction.


    What does Mel Foster bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent pace and tone. Auditory cheesecake!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed several times, and it made me think very deeply and in new ways about many very basic concepts about life, relationships, and thinking.


    Any additional comments?

    Though we may be sacks of meat through-and-through we still manage to find each other beautiful, and that itself is beautiful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Lazmac
    3/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting but starting to show its age"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Its a interesting psychology book not focusing on self help which is a nice change. However it is starting to show its age its from the late 1990s and computers are a much newer aspect of life


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Nice voice


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I can't stay awake that long!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander
    3/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Changes the way you think"

    This book, as with all of Stephen Pinker's stuff, long and occasionally difficult. However, finishing it is exceptionally fulfilling and I never once considered giving up. The insights presented into the reason that we think the way we do will change the way that you think about everything, and they provide answers to questions which you might have thought of as unanswerable. I would thoroughly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • T. Griffith
    London, UK
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I like this book.."
    Where does How the Mind Works rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 3.


    What other book might you compare How the Mind Works to, and why?

    The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. Stephen Pinker refers to Dawkins' book in "How The Mind Works" and also uses his word "meme" a lot.


    What does Mel Foster bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Mel Foster had a slow, thoughtful, melodic voice that I find very clear and settling. I could never read a book like this - I have to have it read out to me.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I re-wind bits sometimes and because it's so deep am not sure if I've heard that bit before and accidentally re-wound it/gone back to the beginning and heard it again or it is an actual repetition within the book. I don't mind though. The matter is so "meaty" that it's fine to hear it overlap. I am often out and about when listening to my books and if I cross a road, open a door or get served in a shop I need to either let something pass and admit I haven't heard it or wind back. Seven times out of 10 I will re-wind a bit. I'm not sure if I've heard this book through and started again but am still happy to keep listening. I always listen to an hour before I fall asleep and probably only catch 10 minutes of that before I've dozed off so should be able to listen to it about three times before I think I've caught it all.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd love to know what the author's voice sounds like but can totally understand why someone may not want to read their own book out. I used an mp3 player to record revision and my throat tightened up as if it had a noose around it..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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