The enigma of reason: a new theory of human understanding

By: Mercier, Hugo
Contributor(s): Sperber, Dan [Co-author]
Material type: TextTextPublisher: India Penguin Books 2017Description: vi, 396 p.: ill. includes bibliographical references and indexISBN: 9780241957851Subject(s): Reason | Reason - Social aspects | Human understanding - TheoryDDC classification: 128.33 Summary: 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 ground-breaking 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. The Enigma of Reason will spark debate among psychologists and philosophers, and make many reasonable people rethink their own thinking. https://www.penguin.com.au/books/the-enigma-of-reason-a-new-theory-of-human-understanding-9780241957851
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Slot 133 (0 Floor, West Wing) Non-fiction 128.33 M3E6 (Browse shelf) Checked out 11/05/2021 202777

Table of Content:

Introduction: A double enigma
Part I. Shaking dogma
Reason on trial
Psychologists' travails
Part II. Understanding inference
From unconscious inferences to intuitions
Modularity
Cognitive opportunism
Metarepresentations
Part III. Rethinking reason
How we use reasons
Could reason be a module?
Reasoning: intuition and reflection
Reason: what is it for?
Part IV. What reason can and cannot do
Why is reasoning biased?
Quality control: how we evaluate arguments
The dark side of reason
A reason for everything
The bright side of reasoning
Part V. Reason in the wild
Is human reason universal?
Reasoning about moral and political topics
Solitary geniuses?

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 ground-breaking 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. The Enigma of Reason will spark debate among psychologists and philosophers, and make many reasonable people rethink their own thinking.

https://www.penguin.com.au/books/the-enigma-of-reason-a-new-theory-of-human-understanding-9780241957851

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