- Taschenbuch: 660 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin; Auflage: 1. (1999)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0140244913
- ISBN-13: 978-0140244915
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 2,9 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 61 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 176.608 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
How the Mind Works (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1999
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Why do fools fall in love? Why does a man's annual salary, on average, increase £375 with each inch of his height? When a crack dealer guns down a rival, how is he just like Alexander Hamilton, whose face is on the 10-dollar bill? How do optical illusions function as windows on the human soul? Cheerful, cheeky, occasionally outrageous MIT psychologist Steven Pinker answers all of the above and more in his marvellously fun, awesomely informative survey of modern brain science. Pinker argues that a combination of Darwin's theories and some canny computer programs are the key to understanding ourselves--but he also throws in apt references to Star Trek, Star Wars, The Far Side, history, literature, W.C. Fields, Mozart, Marilyn Monroe, surrealism, experimental psychology and Moulay Ismail the Bloodthirsty and his 888 children. If How the Mind Works were a rock show, tickets would be scalped for £100. This book deserved its spot at the top of the bestseller lists. It belongs on a short shelf alongside such classics as Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life, by Daniel C. Dennett, and The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology, by Robert Wright. Pinker's startling ideas pop out as dramatically as those hidden pictures in a Magic Eye 3D stereogram poster, which he also explains in brilliantly lucid prose.
"Presented with extraordinary lucidity, cogency and panache...Powerful and gripping...To have read [the book] is to have consulted a first draft of the structural plan of the human psyche...a glittering tour de force" - "Spectator". "Why do memories fade? Why do we lose our tempers? Why do fools fall in love? Pinker's objective in this erudite account is to explore the nature and history of the human mind...He explores computations and evolutions, and then considers how the mind lets us "see, think, feel, interact, and pursue higher callings like art, religion and philosophy" - "Sunday Times".Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Therefore, it is really a shame that the author puts such an effort in spreading around humouristic references to make the reader keep going, that he often loses the point. It IS a good effect in the writing procedure to kick in some unexpectedly contra-academic examples from Calvin & Hobbes, from Woody Allen or from Monty Python - but the sad thing is that these humouristic kicks really are the PEAKS in »How The Mind Works«.
The reader never really gets a fully reliable explanation of the mind's mystery attics, narrow paths, and dark alleys. Instead, the author refers to a lot of theories and then argues much too superficially and easily about which theory is likely to be right, according to him.
»How The Mind Works« has a superb idea - an idea with a great potential and therefore enormous potential public... if it is developped further and into something more thoroughly, profoundly and reliable.
In the middle of the book Pinker cites Lakoff (1987) and a few of the examples given in the latter's _Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things_ to show that the traditional criterial-attribute model of categorization is incorrect. Now, the well-read reader knows what Lakoff was trying to demonstrate; that classical logic is inadequate when it comes to explaining how people categorize. Much of his book is devoted to showing the many interesting ways people actually do categorize. It's all centered around Eleanor Rosch's prototype theory, and the significant factor played in best examples of a category, radial categorization, metaphor, metonomy, etc., etc.
Pinker's "refutation" of Lakoff's examples is amazing. Without mentioning prototype theory (there or in the entire book), he argues that Lakoff's mistake is not realizing that such fuzzy categories are the result of "idealizations". Having satisfied the ignorant reader that Lakoff is on the wrong track, Pinker moves on to other topics.
But the hypocrisy is obvious. Pinker's concept of an "idealization" is not too far removed from Rosch's "prototype"!And in the process of ignoring the vast empirical data in support of how minds *really* categorize, Pinker feels safe to remain in the classical framework of categorization.
Since I cannot believe that Pinker is ignorant of what Lakoff was actually talking about in his book, or the work of Rosch, I must conclude that by avoiding the real issues behind prototype theory he was being deliberately deceptive. And he is a very charismatic writer and speaker, so his popularizations have a better chance of reaching the public than the sometimes admittedly dense and verbose _Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things_. He leaves his readers with a biased report on the state of cognitive science, using what appears to me to be outright deception in the process, such as in the above example.
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