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Rationality : what it is, why it seems scarce, why it matters / Steven Pinker.

Available copies

  • 1 of 3 copies available at Sage Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Baker County Library District. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Baker County Library.

Current holds

1 current hold with 3 total copies.

Summary:

"Today humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding--and also appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that developed vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, medical quackery, and conspiracy theorizing? Pinker rejects the cynical cliché that humans are simply irrational--cavemen out of time saddled with biases, fallacies, and illusions. After all, we discovered the laws of nature, lengthened and enriched our lives, and set out the benchmarks for rationality itself. We actually think in ways that are sensible in the low-tech contexts in which we spend most of our lives, but fail to take advantage of the powerful tools of reasoning we've discovered over the millennia: logic, critical thinking, probability, correlation and causation, and optimal ways to update beliefs and commit to choices individually and with others. These tools are not a standard part of our education, and have never been presented clearly and entertainingly in a single book--until now. Rationality also explores its opposite: how the rational pursuit of self-interest, sectarian solidarity, and uplifting mythology can add up to crippling irrationality in a society. Collective rationality depends on norms that are explicitly designed to promote objectivity and truth." --Provided by publisher.
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Circulation Modifier Age Hold Protection Active/Create Date Status Due Date
Baker County Library 128.33 .P655r 2021 (Text) 37814003390342 NON-FICTION - NEW Book System_Only_3months 10/09/2021 Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780525561996
  • ISBN: 0525561994
  • Physical Description: xvii, 412 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: New York : Viking, [2021]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 341-388) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
How rational an animal? -- Rationality and irrationality -- Logic and critical thinking -- Probability and randomness -- Beliefs and evidence (Bayesian reasoning) -- Risk and reward (rational choice and expected utility) -- Hits and false alarms (signal detection and statistical decision theory) -- Self and others (game theory) -- Correlation and causation -- What's wrong with people? -- Why rationality matters.
Summary, etc.:
"Today humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding--and also appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that developed vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, medical quackery, and conspiracy theorizing? Pinker rejects the cynical cliché that humans are simply irrational--cavemen out of time saddled with biases, fallacies, and illusions. After all, we discovered the laws of nature, lengthened and enriched our lives, and set out the benchmarks for rationality itself. We actually think in ways that are sensible in the low-tech contexts in which we spend most of our lives, but fail to take advantage of the powerful tools of reasoning we've discovered over the millennia: logic, critical thinking, probability, correlation and causation, and optimal ways to update beliefs and commit to choices individually and with others. These tools are not a standard part of our education, and have never been presented clearly and entertainingly in a single book--until now. Rationality also explores its opposite: how the rational pursuit of self-interest, sectarian solidarity, and uplifting mythology can add up to crippling irrationality in a society. Collective rationality depends on norms that are explicitly designed to promote objectivity and truth." --Provided by publisher.
Subject: Critical thinking.
Practical reason.
Choice (Psychology).
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