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.
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.
As an introduction to evolutionary psychology, this is a critical work. If the material comes off as dated (and it's less than twenty years old!), that cannot be the writer's fault. Much of the grounding theories are still valid, even as they've been enriched (and misused) between the time Pinker wrote it and now.
Narrator Mel Foster keeps us engaged, even through passages which were originally illustrated in the book. I did not suffer any lack of pictures.
How the Mind Works is one of the best popular science books I have ever read. I enjoyed it even more than The Blank Slate (which was written later, but I happened to read it before).
The book is very well written and the audio is very well read.
I loved all the little fun facts. Really the most interesting thing about the book. The reason why I've listened to it twice in a row.
The story is fine. I would say that some parts seems useless and lengthy for no reason. Not really Steven Pinker's usual writing self.
The narrator was find. Nothing particularly amazing to point out.
The most interesting facts about thoughts about the human mind.
This book says more about what the mind is not rather than what it is. Which is fine considering the topic the book tried to tackle.
"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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