The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier

Into the Wild

Read The Enigma of Reason Online Free - 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.

Ambitious, provocative, and entertaining, The Enigma of Reason will spark debate among psychologists and philosophers, and make many reasonable people rethink their own thinking.

Title : The Enigma of Reason
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0674368304
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 0 pages


Thore rated it ★★★★☆

June 20, 2017

Reasoning, as we know today, sucks. People are able to convince themselves of all kinds of bullshit, and the smarter we are and the longer we think, the more stubborn we seem to become. The function of Reason seems to be to justify our intuitions, not matter how silly they are. Many recent books...

Carl Nelson rated it ★★★★★

April 16, 2017

A persuasive and well argued claim for the interactionist view of reason in contrast to the intellectualist view of reason. By this view reason evolved to support social interaction including the statement of claims and their evaluation by others. Thus reason advances through arguments with audie...

Simon rated it ★★★★★

June 18, 2017

La raison des philosophes est un super-pouvoir distinctif de l'humain; celle des psychologues expérimentaux une capacité biaisée, paresseuse et fautive ("flawed") (voir Daniel Kahneman Système 1 / système 2 : les deux vitesses de la pensée pour une exposition détaillée). Ces deux perspectives son...

Daniel rated it ★★★★★

May 05, 2017

A fantastic book. Presents a very compelling alternative to (expansion of?) the Kahneman-ian dual systems model of cognition and a compelling enough evolutionary explanation for the existing state of human cognitive affairs. The core concepts can be difficult to get your head around (due to the si...

Rhys rated it ★★★★☆

May 04, 2017

A compelling case for an interactionist perspective of human reason. "The ability to produce and evaluate reasons has not evolved in order to improve psychological insight but as a tool for defending or criticizing thoughts and actions, for expressing commitments, and for creating mutual expectat...

Lakmus rated it ★★★★☆

July 15, 2017

Phew, done. Finally. Mind blown though. This view of reasoning actually makes a lot more sense (or maybe it's the myside bias and I need to go read 'Thinking fast and slow' asap just to counter-balance). It also allows to shove reason off the Human Superpower pedestal nicely. It's quite dense, and...

Steve rated it ★★★★★

June 27, 2017

Just simply the best book on Cognition and Reason I have read in over 20 years. With that said I do wonder about how the scope of the theory seems to explain every problem about reason and reasoning. I am also left wondering how the theory would explain why people continue to vote against their b...

Giyanto rated it ★★★★☆

May 28, 2017

Silogisme Aristotelian tergolong logika klasik. Mercier mengulas temuan-temuan terbaru tentang logika/nalar manusia melalui pendekatan evolusi. Didukung oleh hasil riset-riset psikologi baik dari aliran interaksionis sampai ke intelektualis, Mercier mengungkap dengan gamblang bias-bias penalaran...

Andrew rated it ★★★★★

July 19, 2017

This book is a masterpiece. It presents a thesis that has great impact and application,. It is scholarly and even in its arguments. it probably requires some previous interest in reasoning or in the linguistic elements of 20th century philosophy to achieve its full impact on the reader, but if yo...

Yan rated it ★★★☆☆

July 01, 2017

Fascinating read. The authors present a comprehensive and very dense account on human reasoning. First half of the book took some effort but once the foundations were established, I enjoyed the presented arguments and ideas. Overall, if you are interested in the topic, you should give a try but b...

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