The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier audiobook

The Enigma of Reason

By Hugo Mercier  and Dan Sperber
Read by Liam Gerrard

Tantor Audio
14.95 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $21.99
    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9781541486218

    $12.99 With Membership: Learn More
  • $44.99

    ISBN: 9781541416215

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.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

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 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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Narrator Liam Gerrard's beautifully raspy voice goes well with his English accent. . . . His pacing and projection keep the text moving at a consistent pace and help unpack passages that involve complex logic. AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Hugo Mercier

Author Bio: Hugo Mercier

Hugo Mercier is a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, working in the Cognitive Science Institute Marc Jeannerod in Lyon.

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Dan Sperber

Author Bio: Dan Sperber

Dan Sperber is a researcher in the Departments of Cognitive Science and of Philosophy at the Central European University, Budapest, and in the Institut Jean Nicod at the École Normale Superieure, Paris.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Nonfiction/Psychology
Runtime: 14.95
Audience: Adult
Language: English