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How the mind works

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: New York : Norton, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In this book the author, a cognitive scientist explains how the brain evolved to store and use information, allowing our ancestors to control their environment, and why we think and act as we do. He explains what the mind is, how it evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel, laugh, interact, enjoy the arts, and ponder the mysteries of life. This work explains many of the imponderables of everyday life. Why  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Adventure
Named Person: Geist
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Steven Pinker
ISBN: 0393045358 9780393045352 0393318486 9780393318487 9780393334777 0393334775
OCLC Number: 36379708
Description: xii, 660 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Standard equipment --
Thinking machines --
Revenge of the nerds --
The mind's eye --
Good ideas --
Hotheads --
Family values --
The meaning of life.
Responsibility: Steven Pinker.

Abstract:

In this book the author, a cognitive scientist explains how the brain evolved to store and use information, allowing our ancestors to control their environment, and why we think and act as we do. He explains what the mind is, how it evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel, laugh, interact, enjoy the arts, and ponder the mysteries of life. This work explains many of the imponderables of everyday life. Why does a face look more attractive with makeup? How do "Magic-Eye" 3-D stereograms work? Why do we feel that a run of heads makes the coin more likely to land tails? Why is the thought of eating worms disgusting? Why do men challenge each other to duels and murder their ex-wives? Why are children bratty? Why do fools fall in love? Why are we soothed by paintings and music? And why do puzzles like the self, free will, and consciousness leave us dizzy? The arguments in the book are as bold as its title. The author rehabilitates unfashionable ideas, such as that the mind is a computer and that human nature was shaped by natural selection. And he challenges fashionable ones, such as that passionate emotions are irrational, that parents socialize their children, that creativity springs from the unconscious, that nature is good and modern society corrupting, and that art and religion are expressions of our higher spiritual yearnings.

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Pinker's Grandma's 'science'

by dacase (WorldCat user published 2013-02-11) Fair Permalink

How the Mind Works is both impressive and disappointing.  The style is chatty/"fun" like in gossip or a coffee table book meant for killing a few minutes with a randomly selected chapter subsection found using the index.  Pinker admits at the outset that virtually the entire content is his...
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Huge book, many brilliant ideas, well written

by vleighton (WorldCat user published 2006-11-01) Excellent Permalink
This follow-up to Pinker's "Language Instinct", which put him on the map, is an encyclopedia of evolutionary psychology. 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....
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