The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

By  Steven Sloman  and Philip Fernbach
Read by Mike Chamberlain

9.89 Hours 03/14/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781524752026

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We all think we know more than we actually do. Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don’t even know how a pen or a toilet works. How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us. We’re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads: in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact—and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it. The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know more than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individual-oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail. But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things. This book contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the community around us.

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Summary

Summary

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2017

We all think we know more than we actually do.

Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don’t even know how a pen or a toilet works. How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us. We’re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads: in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact—and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know more than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individual-oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail. But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things. This book contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the community around us.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Narrator Mike Chamberlain’s optimistic voice keeps the tone light…[and] his flawless phrasing and enunciation give this audio appealing clarity and impact. Written with a breezy tone by two academic psychologists…[whose] political and philosophical sensibilities offset the cognitive science details to make this a powerful guide to becoming better citizens as well as thinkers.” AudioFile
“A breezy guide to the mechanisms of human intelligence.” Psychology Today
“In the context of partisan bubbles and fake news, the authors bring a necessary shot of humility: be skeptical of your own knowledge and the wisdom of your crowd.” Economist (London)
“Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach hammer another nail into the coffin of the rational individual…positing that not just rationality but the very idea of individual thinking is a myth.” New York Times Book Review
“The Knowledge Illusion is filled with insights on how we should deal with our individual ignorance and collective wisdom.” Steven Pinker, New York Times bestselling author

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Steven Sloman

Steven Sloman is a professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown University. He is the editor in chief of the journal Cognition.

Philip Fernbach is a cognitive scientist and professor of marketing at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business.

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Philip Fernbach

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Psychology
Runtime: 9.89
Audience: Adult
Language: English