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.
“Undeniably brilliant.” (Newsday)
"Big, brash, and a lot of fun.” (Time)
“Hugely entertaining.... always sparkling and provoking.” (Wall Street Journal)
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.
If you want a good book on Natural Selection this is a great listen. If you want a book on the mind look elsewhere.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not applicable - this is non-fiction.
Excellent pace and tone. Auditory cheesecake!
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.
Though we may be sacks of meat through-and-through we still manage to find each other beautiful, and that itself is beautiful.
"Interesting but starting to show its age"
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
I can't stay awake that long!
"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.
"I like this book.."
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.
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.
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.
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..
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