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The Mind Is Flat

Narrated by: Nick Chater
Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Mind Is Flat, written and read by Nick Chater. 

Most of us assume that our thoughts, desires and behaviour arise from the murky depths of our minds, and if only we could access this inner world we could truly understand ourselves. For more than a century, psychologists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists have struggled, using methods from psychotherapy to brain scans, to discover what lies below the surface of our minds. 

In a profound reappraisal of how the mind works, preeminent behavioural scientist Nick Chater reveals that this entire enterprise is misguided: that we have no mental depths to plumb. Drawing on startling new research in neuroscience, behavioural psychology and perception, The Mind Is Flat shows that we have no inner library of beliefs, values and desires lying with us but instead generate them in the moment and base them entirely on our past experiences. As the listener discovers - through eye-opening experiments and mind-bending examples - we are all characters of our own creation, constantly improvising our behaviour, rather than the playthings of unconscious currents within us. 

Boldly original and utterly convincing, The Mind Is Flat forces us to reconsider just about everything we thought we knew about ourselves and shows that the result can be liberating.

©2018 Nick Chater (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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  • Rich
  • 08-22-18

That thing you didn't think in the first is wrong!

Endlessly labours under the mistaken belief that the reader assumed everyone was somehow preprogrammed with "common sense knowledge" and continually expects you to be surprised when it tells you this isn't the case.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomasson
  • 05-20-18

Brilliant and Entirely Relevant

Author himself as narrator really worked. Animated reading and rich streams of fabulous analogies, I was gripped from start to finish.
A groundbreaking book (another analogy!)...or was it earth shattering?...can't quite decide. ;)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-26-18

Pros and cons

Good - the book contains a lot of interesting insights. I've learnt a few new things.
Bad - the author decided to read the book himself, which in my opinion was a mistake. He reads too fast and changes speed a lot (a bit like in a real conversation). Even slowing the audiobook down didn't help to make it smooth and engaging. This is probably why I also feel that some sentences could have been much simpler and the individual stories more cohesive.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom Ayerst
  • 10-23-18

Fascinating and thought provoking

The thesis of our minds as relentless improvisors is convincingly argued with much supplementary evidence from research. The conclusion is radical and convincing.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Glyn Williams
  • 07-18-18

This book blew my mind*

* But the resultant explosion was disappointingly small.

This book forces us all to reconsider long-standing myths about the mind. Ideas which have been accepted and unchallenged for centuries are dismantled. The dismantling is done with research and evidence.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Oisin Brogan
  • 07-30-19

Interesting idea, arguments unconvincing

The central idea is interesting, the experiments in perception fancinating, I finished the book feeling unsatisfied and unconvinced. I found myself again and again waiting for the argument the would link the experiment being discussed to the implied far reaching implications, but it never came. Instead Chater would repeat the conclusion again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Occam's shaver
  • 02-23-19

It seemed to make sense when I listened to it!

It seemed to make sense when I listened to it and chimed with observations I had made and what I believed were long-standing, deeply-held beliefs.

This book needed to be written.

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  • Arild
  • 05-24-18

An easily accessible book provoking you to think

Such a nice, well put together book read in just the best voice. Highly recommended!