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The Enigma of Reason

Lu par : Liam Gerrard
Durée : 14 h et 56 min
5,0 out of 5 stars (2 notations)

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Description

Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. If reason is so useful, why didn't it also evolve in other animals? If reason is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense?

In their groundbreaking account of the evolution and workings of reason, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber set out to solve this double enigma. Reason, they argue with a compelling mix of real-life and experimental evidence, is not geared to solitary use, to arriving at better beliefs and decisions on our own. What reason does, rather, is help us justify our beliefs and actions to others, convince them through argumentation, and evaluate the justifications and arguments that others address to us. In other words, reason helps humans better exploit their uniquely rich social environment.

This interactionist interpretation explains why reason may have evolved and how it fits with other cognitive mechanisms. It makes sense of strengths and weaknesses that have long puzzled philosophers and psychologists-why reason is biased in favor of what we already believe, why it may lead to terrible ideas and yet is indispensable to spreading good ones.

©2017 Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber (P)2017 Tantor

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Global
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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • 22/05/2018

Interesting, but boringly redundant

Let's start with narration which is not very good. On the other hand I doubt that any other narrator could have done better with the circular redundancy of this book. There really is nothing new here. The final chapter which is 20 minutes in length summarizes the authors' positions on reason and reasoning well and is adequate. Worthwhile? Yes, but more so with far less verbiage.

16 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Log Jammin
  • 11/12/2017

reason is flawed but purposefully so

the authors make a solid case for the bias and laziness of reason to have evolved with the purpose of homo sapiens need to argue and defend their actions to others. since homo sapiens live in a highly social environment, reason should be considered another of the items in the toolbox that led to large-scale organization. beyond that, the authors convincingly portray reason as largely misunderstood and place it in its proper evolutionary perspective.

29 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Philomath
  • 02/12/2017

Reason after the fact

I believe there is a slow consensus developing in Cognitive Science as to how Reason fits in to our daily life, and it is contrary to the long assumed belief that reason is a precursor to a decision. In this book the author further develops the theory that we all for the most part use reason to justify an action, and there is good evidence that even long thought out Arguments are biased, and reason is only used after the fact to justify ones position. Very, very interesting indeed!

35 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Sal
  • 13/04/2018

The case for Reason as an evolved module

I liked the depth the book gives to different psychological studies about how humans reason. How it explains reasoning with comparisons and it’s possible evolutionary path. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand why we can disagree even when undeniable facts are shown to us. I gave it a 4 star rating because the first half of the book had what seemed to me as a complicated background. Necessary though, but a bit difficult for me maybe because I’m an engineer an not a psychologist. But after the foundations are laid, the books walks and guides you through the reasoning path with ease, while being very entertaining. the

10 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • hans sandberg
  • 27/04/2018

An alternative to Kahneman's Thinking Fast & Slow

Like many others, I loved Kahneman's book and the System 1 & 2 approach, but Mercier & Sperber punctuates the theory quite effectively, and offers a convincing alternative, based on the theory of evolution. Their model will have a huge impact, not the least in education, business, and AI. It's a fascinating read.

16 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Cath
  • 01/07/2018

the narrator ruins it for me

This book seems like it has an interesting premise but the narrator is really hard to listen to. I'm not sure if there are too many exclamation points or not enough. I couldn't make it through an hour of this one.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29/09/2020

An important book by leading authors

Authors are leading figures on psychology of reason. The book makes otherwise complicated science accessible. I think this is an important book

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ecko Kamillion
  • 15/04/2020

interesting info but narration lacking

The book is interesting and the information is interesting if presented a bit too dry and clinical, but that might partly be the narrator's fault. The narration makes trying to follow the line of "reasoning" impossible. He does a sing-song narration throughout. It sounds as tho he isn't following a bit of what he's reading. Sentences that would have made sense if read correctly sound disjointed and it breaks up the train of logic and thought that the author was walking. The narration / dryness of it made it a book I used to fall asleep to... because my brain got so bored of trying to make sense of it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ricardo Hausmann
  • 16/07/2019

A remarkable book

This is a marvelous piece of work. It presents a satisfying interpretation of the origins and the workings of reason that undermines the dominant view that sees human reason as flawed. Instead it argues that what appears as bugs is really a feature, if you understand the interactive role of reason. It is about justification and persuasion, not about deductive logic. It is social to the core in its intention and actually in its implementation, with deliberation playing a key role. The presentation is masterful. The book reviews massive amounts of well known evidence that has been there for a while, but without a paradigm to interpret it. The book has radically changed how I think about fundamental issues.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • D. A.
  • 13/04/2019

Starts with promise and devolves into incoherence.

The authors make a promising claim about why existing models of reasoning are wrong or incomplete. They then fail to make a coherent argument for their alternative model. The jerky performance didn't help.