Full study guide for this title currently under development. To be notified when we launch a full study guide, please contact us. How The Mind Works Summary SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. How the Mind Works is a nonfiction book written by Canadian cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, who is currently a professor of psychology at Harvard University.
Permalink How the Mind Works is both impressive and disappointing.
Pinker admits at the outset that virtually the entire content is his How the Mind Works is both impressive and disappointing. The mind works like this: Prospective readers interested in mindful conduct should not bother reading because it is counterproductive taken seriously.
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Summary, Analysis, and Review of Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined [Start Publishing Notes] on srmvision.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. PLEASE NOTE: This is a key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book/5(4). Standard equipment --Thinking machines --Revenge of the nerds --The mind's eye --Good ideas --Hotheads --Family values --The meaning of life. Responsibility: Steven Pinker. Textbook: Steven Pinker, How The Mind Works. About the author. Steven Pinker is Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Previously he taught in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT.
Admittedly, in trying to cover the entire scope of the mind, Pinker occasionally supports some theories that lack evidence. He rushes ahead of the empirical evidence more than once He rushes ahead of the empirical evidence more than once.
And he has since changed his views on some issues. But the overall quality is such that I give it five stars anyway. I have come up with strategies for tackling the giant, depending on your interest level.
Read the first 24 pages. If you hate it but want to get the gist of the book, try plan A. If you like it a bit, try plan B. If you were entralled, obviously read the whole thing. After page 24, the rest of chapter one is good, but the section to be sure to catch is from the bottom of 52 to the end of that chapter.
Both fundamentalists and leftists claim that using evolutionary explanations will lead to moral degeneracy, and this section shows otherwise. Next, Chapter 2 is a fine chapter and has plenty of good stuff, but it is ponderous, frankly, so if your eyes start to glaze over and your mind starts to wander, just skip to chapter 3, which is much more important from the big picture of life, the universe, and everything.
Two shows how one can break thinking down into computation. In Chapter 3, Pinker packs many important evolutionary ideas into a short readable text. This chapter is a great starting place for people wanting to argue about the nature of design and complexity in the universe, whether it is a debate with creationists or an argument with leftist post-modern "science studies" types coming out of expensive private colleges.
In particular, the section from to is pure gold. Then there is a confusing section discussing the Baldwin effect and the evolution of innate structures to solve computation problems, which frankly can be skipped, and then another section of gold from the bottom of onward.
This part has some of my favorite quotes from the book. Chapter 4 might interest you if you are really into computer vision and how people solve the problems of reverse optics. Otherwise, its chief value is in showing how Pinker and others can take a problem about cognition and analyze it in a rigorously scientific way.
You really can create experiments that answer questions about how the brain processes vision.
However, from the broader perspective of making sense out of human behavior, you could actually skip this chapter. Chapter 5 is important. Along with Darwin, the co-discoverer of evolution was Alfred Russell Wallace.
He felt that the human brain was too big and too sophisticated to be the product of evolutionary pressures. This chapter tries to show otherwise. You cannot learn physics, math, and biology without having some of the basic concepts pre-wired into your brain, and it was pre-wired by evolution.
Early in the 20th century, there was a popular and influential school of psychology called "behaviorism. This chapter explodes that school of psychology. It also makes the point that through our technology, we have moved so quickly out of the context in which our instincts have developed that many of our instincts are dysfunctional.
Chapter 6 is crucial for someone studying human behavior. It is often assumed that people behave rationally at all times. This chapter makes strong arguments that sometimes it is strategically rational to behave irrationally.
A great explanation of male machismo. Unfortunately, Pinker can sometimes skate on pretty thin ice, and there are some questionable ideas in this chapter. For example, the idea that we are attracted to suburbs through inner programming is a bit soft.
Worse is the fact that some of these flakier ideas come at the beginning of the chapter, and the best part of the chapter is at the end, dealing with the doomsday behavior of irrational violence.I. Albion’s Seed by David Fischer is a history professor’s nine-hundred-page treatise on patterns of early immigration to the Eastern United States.
It’s not light reading and not the sort of thing I would normally pick up. I read it anyway on the advice of people who kept telling me it . The problem with this approach, he notes, is that the brain is the product not of systematic design but rather of natural selection.
Our mind is the ultimate "Revenge of the Nerds," in which our species survived by occupying "the cognitive niche," giving up the heightened senses of other animals to do so. Nov 26, · Paris is a mess: Up to , illegal immigrants live in just one suburb. A new parliamentary report shows that the number of migrants living in a Paris suburb may be nearing ,, according to Paris Vox.
Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now! The third chapter of the book, “Revenge of the Nerds,” focuses on the evolution of the mind.
In this chapter, Pinker references Richard Dawkins in arguing that the mind, like all complex systems, is the result of Darwinian natural selection and has been shaped by the surrounding environment. The film Moneyball was well-received by both audiences and critics and an Academy Award contender for best film at the Oscars.
It was based on Michael Lewis’ nonfiction book by the same name and directed by Bennett Miller from a screenplay written by Aaron Sorkin (who I understand was the guiding force behind the film) and Steven Zaillian.