Why Think?: The Evolution of the Rational Mind

3 avg rating
( 13 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780195189858: Why Think?: The Evolution of the Rational Mind
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

In a world where natural selection has shaped adaptations of astonishing ingenuity, what is the scope and unique power of rational thinking?

In this short but wide-ranging book, philosopher Ronald de Sousa looks at the twin set of issues surrounding the power of natural selection to mimic rational design, and rational thinking as itself a product of natural selection.

While we commonly deem ourselves superior to other species, the logic of natural selection should not lead us to expect that nature does everything for the best. Similarly, rational action does not always promote the best possible outcomes. So what is the difference? Is the pursuit of rationality actually an effective strategy?

Part of the answer lies in language, including mathematics and science. Language is the most striking device by which we have made ourselves smarter than our nearest primate cousins. Sometimes the purely instinctual responses we share with other animals put explicit reasoning to shame: the movements of a trained athlete are faster and more accurate than anything she could explicitly calculate. Language, however, with its power to abstract from concrete experience and to range over all aspects of nature, enables breathtakingly precise calculations, which have taken us to the moon and beyond. Most importantly, however, language enables us to formulate an endless multiplicity of values, in potential conflict with one another as well as with instinctual imperatives.

In short, this sophisticated and entertaining book shows how our rationality and our irrationality are inextricably intertwined. Ranging over a wide array of evidence, it explores the true ramifications of being human in the natural world.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

"Why Think? is Ronnie de Sousa at his brilliant best― immensely learned, witty, bold, and a model of clarity. This book is a timely balance to the weight of data emphasizing the emotions and nonconscious processing in decision-making. It weaves coherent story out of a lot of bits and pieces lying about in loose confusion." ―Patricia Smith Churchland, President's Professor pf Philosophy, University of California, San Diego

"This book is a tour de force of scholarly insights on one of the most subtle puzzles in cognitive science―the relation between rationality and evolution." ―Keith E. Stanovich, author of The Robot's Rebellion: Finding Meaning in the Age of Darwin

About the Author:

Ronald de Sousa grew up in Switzerland and the United Kingdom. After completing school in France, he obtained a B.A. from Oxford, and a Ph.D. from Princeton. Based at the University of Toronto, he has lectured in over twenty countries on the emotions, philosophy of biology, ethics, and aesthetics. He lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

De Sousa, Ronald
Published by Oxford University Press (2016)
ISBN 10: 019518985X ISBN 13: 9780195189858
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Print on Demand
Seller:
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. PRINT ON DEMAND Book; New; Publication Year 2016; Not Signed; Fast Shipping from the UK. No. book. Seller Inventory # ria9780195189858_lsuk

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
24.48
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.87
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Ronald De Sousa
Published by OUP USA (2007)
ISBN 10: 019518985X ISBN 13: 9780195189858
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description OUP USA, 2007. HRD. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9780195189858

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
28.76
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.05
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

WHY THINK? EVOLUTION AND THE RATIONAL MIND (HARDBACK) -
ISBN 10: 019518985X ISBN 13: 9780195189858
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Herb Tandree Philosophy Books
(Stroud, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: NEW. 9780195189858 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. For all enquiries, please contact Herb Tandree Philosophy Books directly - customer service is our primary goal. Seller Inventory # HTANDREE01562170

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
27.49
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 8
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Ronald De Sousa
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2007)
ISBN 10: 019518985X ISBN 13: 9780195189858
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2007. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In a world where natural selection has shaped adaptations of astonishing ingenuity, what is the scope and unique power of rational thinking? In this short but wide-ranging book, philosopher Ronald de Sousa looks at the twin set of issues surrounding the power of natural selection to mimic rational design, and rational thinking as itself a product of natural selection. While we commonly deem ourselves superior to other species, the logic of natural selection should not lead us to expect that nature does everything for the best. Similarly, rational action does not always promote the best possible outcomes. So what is the difference? Is the pursuit of rationality actually an effective strategy? Part of the answer lies in language, including mathematics and science. Language is the most striking device by which we have made ourselves smarter than our nearest primate cousins. Sometimes the purely instinctual responses we share with other animals put explicit reasoning to shame: the movements of a trained athlete are faster and more accurate than anything she could explicitly calculate. Language, however, with its power to abstract from concrete experience and to range over all aspectsof nature, enables breathtakingly precise calculations, which have taken us to the moon and beyond. Most importantly, however, language enables us to formulate an endless multiplicity of values, in potential conflict with one another as well as with instinctual imperatives. In short, this sophisticated and entertaining book shows how our rationality and our irrationality are inextricably intertwined. Ranging over a wide array of evidence, it explores the true ramifications of being human in the natural world. Seller Inventory # APC9780195189858

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
37.06
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

De Sousa, Ronald
Published by Oxford University Press, USA 6/1/2007 (2007)
ISBN 10: 019518985X ISBN 13: 9780195189858
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, USA 6/1/2007, 2007. Hardback or Cased Book. Condition: New. Why Think?: Evolution and the Rational Mind. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9780195189858

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
37.40
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Ronald De Sousa
Published by OUP USA (2007)
ISBN 10: 019518985X ISBN 13: 9780195189858
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description OUP USA, 2007. HRD. Condition: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9780195189858

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
28.99
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 9
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Ronald De Sousa
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2007)
ISBN 10: 019518985X ISBN 13: 9780195189858
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2007. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In a world where natural selection has shaped adaptations of astonishing ingenuity, what is the scope and unique power of rational thinking? In this short but wide-ranging book, philosopher Ronald de Sousa looks at the twin set of issues surrounding the power of natural selection to mimic rational design, and rational thinking as itself a product of natural selection. While we commonly deem ourselves superior to other species, the logic of natural selection should not lead us to expect that nature does everything for the best. Similarly, rational action does not always promote the best possible outcomes. So what is the difference? Is the pursuit of rationality actually an effective strategy? Part of the answer lies in language, including mathematics and science. Language is the most striking device by which we have made ourselves smarter than our nearest primate cousins. Sometimes the purely instinctual responses we share with other animals put explicit reasoning to shame: the movements of a trained athlete are faster and more accurate than anything she could explicitly calculate. Language, however, with its power to abstract from concrete experience and to range over all aspectsof nature, enables breathtakingly precise calculations, which have taken us to the moon and beyond. Most importantly, however, language enables us to formulate an endless multiplicity of values, in potential conflict with one another as well as with instinctual imperatives. In short, this sophisticated and entertaining book shows how our rationality and our irrationality are inextricably intertwined. Ranging over a wide array of evidence, it explores the true ramifications of being human in the natural world. Seller Inventory # APC9780195189858

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
38.36
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Ronald de Sousa
Published by Oxford University Press, USA (2007)
ISBN 10: 019518985X ISBN 13: 9780195189858
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX019518985X

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
36.19
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.05
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Ronald de Sousa
Published by Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN 10: 019518985X ISBN 13: 9780195189858
New Hardcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, USA. Hardcover. Condition: New. 200 pages. Dimensions: 7.1in. x 5.1in. x 0.9in.In a world where natural selection has shaped adaptations of astonishing ingenuity, what is the scope and unique power of rational thinking In this short but wide-ranging book, philosopher Ronald de Sousa looks at the twin set of issues surrounding the power of natural selection to mimic rational design, and rational thinking as itself a product of natural selection. While we commonly deem ourselves superior to other species, the logic of natural selection should not lead us to expect that nature does everything for the best. Similarly, rational action does not always promote the best possible outcomes. So what is the difference Is the pursuit of rationality actually an effective strategy Part of the answer lies in language, including mathematics and science. Language is the most striking device by which we have made ourselves smarter than our nearest primate cousins. Sometimes the purely instinctual responses we share with other animals put explicit reasoning to shame: the movements of a trained athlete are faster and more accurate than anything she could explicitly calculate. Language, however, with its power to abstract from concrete experience and to range over all aspects of nature, enables breathtakingly precise calculations, which have taken us to the moon and beyond. Most importantly, however, language enables us to formulate an endless multiplicity of values, in potential conflict with one another as well as with instinctual imperatives. In short, this sophisticated and entertaining book shows how our rationality and our irrationality are inextricably intertwined. Ranging over a wide array of evidence, it explores the true ramifications of being human in the natural world. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9780195189858

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
40.61
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Ronald de Sousa
Published by Oxford University Press (2007)
ISBN 10: 019518985X ISBN 13: 9780195189858
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2007. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M019518985X

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
45.16
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book