From one of America's greatest minds, a journey through psychology, philosophy, and lots of meditation to show how Buddhism holds the key to moral clarity and enduring happiness. Robert Wright famously explained in The Moral Animal how evolution shaped the human brain. The mind is designed to often delude us, he argued, about ourselves and about the world. And it is designed to make happiness hard to sustain. But if we know our minds are rigged for anxiety, depression, anger, and greed, what do we do? Wright locates the answer in Buddhism, which figured out thousands of years ago what scientists are only discovering now. Buddhism holds that human suffering is a result of not seeing the world clearly--and proposes that seeing the world more clearly, through meditation, will make us better, happier people. In Why Buddhism is True, Wright leads readers on a journey through psychology, philosophy, and a great many silent retreats to show how and why meditation can serve as the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age. At once excitingly ambitious and wittily accessible, this is the first book to combine evolutionary psychology with cutting-edge neuroscience to defend the radical claims at the heart of Buddhist philosophy. With bracing honesty and fierce wisdom, it will persuade you not just that Buddhism is true--which is to say, a way out of our delusion--but that it can ultimately save us from ourselves, as individuals and as a species.
Scientific and philosophical concepts can change the way we solve problems by helping us to think more effectively about our behavior and our world. Surprisingly, despite their utility, many of these tools remain unknown to most of us.In Mindware, the world-renowned psychologist Richard E. Nisbett presents these ideas in clear and accessible detail, offering a tool kit for better thinking and wiser decisions. He has made a distinguished career of studying and teaching such powerful problem-solving concepts as the law of large numbers, statistical regression, cost-benefit analysis, sunk costs and opportunity costs, and causation and correlation, probing how best to teach others to use them effectively in their daily lives. In this groundbreaking book, he shows that a course in a given field--statistics or economics, for example--often doesn't work as well as a few minutes of more practical instruction in analyzing everyday situations. Mindware shows how to reframe common problems in such a way that these powerful scientific and statistical concepts can be applied to them. The result is an enlightening and practical guide to the most powerful tools of reasoning ever developed--tools that can easily be used to make better professional, business, and personal decisions.
Among its provocative ideas, the book:
argues that language is not a requirement for consciousness--and that animals do have consciousness applies the autism theory of hyper-specificity to animals, showing that animals and autistic people are so sensitive to detail that they can't see the forest for the trees--a talent as well as a deficit explores the interpreter in the normal human brain that filters out detail, leaving people blind to much of the reality that surrounds them--a reality animals and autistic people see, sometimes all too clearlyexplains how animals have superhuman skills: animals have animal geniuscompares animals to autistic savants, declaring that animals may in fact be autistic savants, with special forms of genius that normal people do not possess and sometimes cannot even see examines how humans and animals use their emotions to think, to decide, and even to predict the future reveals the remarkable abilities of handicapped people and animals maintains that the single worst thing you can do to an animal is to make it feel afraid
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
If you've ever wondered how you have the capacity to wonder, some fascinating insights await you in these pages." --Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals
As concise and enlightening as Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, this mind-expanding dive into the mystery of consciousness is an illuminating meditation on the self, free will, and felt experience.
What is consciousness? How does it arise? And why does it exist? We take our experience of being in the world for granted. But the very existence of consciousness raises profound questions: Why would any collection of matter in the universe be conscious? How are we able to think about this? And why should we?
In this wonderfully accessible book, Annaka Harris guides us through the evolving definitions, philosophies, and scientific findings that probe our limited understanding of consciousness. Where does it reside, and what gives rise to it? Could it be an illusion, or a universal property of all matter? As we try to understand consciousness, we must grapple with how to define it and, in the age of artificial intelligence, who or what might possess it.
Conscious offers lively and challenging arguments that alter our ideas about consciousness--allowing us to think freely about it for ourselves, if indeed we can.--Donald Hoffman, cognitive scientist and author of Visual Intelligence and The Case Against Reality
A groundbreaking new book from the bestselling author of Shop Class as SoulcraftIn his bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew B. Crawford explored the ethical and practical importance of manual competence, as expressed through mastery of our physical environment. In his brilliant follow-up, The World Beyond Your Head, Crawford investigates the challenge of mastering one's own mind. We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind. Any defense against this, Crawford argues, requires that we reckon with the way attention sculpts the self. Crawford investigates the intense focus of ice hockey players and short-order chefs, the quasi-autistic behavior of gambling addicts, the familiar hassles of daily life, and the deep, slow craft of building pipe organs. He shows that our current crisis of attention is only superficially the result of digital technology, and becomes more comprehensible when understood as the coming to fruition of certain assumptions at the root of Western culture that are profoundly at odds with human nature. The World Beyond Your Head makes sense of an astonishing array of common experience, from the frustrations of airport security to the rise of the hipster. With implications for the way we raise our children, the design of public spaces, and democracy itself, this is a book of urgent relevance to contemporary life.
Digging deeper into his Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on the issue of distracted driving, Matt Richtel examines the impact of technology on our lives through the lens of Reggie Shaw, a college student, who, while texting and driving, killed two rocket scientists in 2006.
Students will follow Reggie through the tragedy of the crash, the police investigation, his prosecution, and the role he plays today as an important advocate against distracted driving. Along the way, Richtel gives students cutting-edge scientific findings about human attention and technology that will help them envision how to manage this crisis both individually and on a societal level.
Freshman Common Read: Boise State University, University of Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina University, University of Vermont, California State University Chico, Avila University--Winnipeg Free Press (A Best Book of the Year)
We live in a time of relentless change. The only thing that's certain is that new challenges and opportunities will emerge that are virtually unimaginable today. How can we know which skills will be required to succeed?In Five Minds for the Future, bestselling author Howard Gardner shows how we will each need to master "five minds" that the fast-paced future will demand: - The disciplined mind, to learn at least one profession, as well as the major thinking (science, math, history, etc.) behind it - The synthesizing mind, to organize the massive amounts of information and communicate effectively to others - The creating mind, to revel in unasked questions - and uncover new phenomena and insightful apt answers - The respectful mind, to appreciate the differences between human beings - and understand and work with all persons - The ethical mind, to fulfill one's responsibilities as both a worker and a citizen Without these "minds," we risk being overwhelmed by information, unable to succeed in the workplace, and incapable of the judgment needed to thrive both personally and professionally. Complete with a substantial new introduction, Five Minds for the Future provides valuable tools for those looking ahead to the next generation of leaders - and for all of us striving to excel in a complex world. Howard Gardner--cited by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the one hundred most influential public intellectuals in the world, and a MacArthur Fellowship recipient--is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Hailed by the Washington Post as "a sure-footed and witty guide to slippery ethical terrain," a philosophical exploration of AI and the future of the mind that Astronomer Royal Martin Rees calls "profound and entertaining"Humans may not be Earth's most intelligent beings for much longer: the world champions of chess, Go, and Jeopardy are now all AIs. Given the rapid pace of progress in AI, many predict that it could advance to human-level intelligence within the next several decades. From there, it could quickly outpace human intelligence. What do these developments mean for the future of the mind? In Artificial You, Susan Schneider says that it is inevitable that AI will take intelligence in new directions, but urges that it is up to us to carve out a sensible path forward. As AI technology turns inward, reshaping the brain, as well as outward, potentially creating machine minds, it is crucial to beware. Homo sapiens, as mind designers, will be playing with tools they do not understand how to use: the self, the mind, and consciousness. Schneider argues that an insufficient grasp of the nature of these entities could undermine the use of AI and brain enhancement technology, bringing about the demise or suffering of conscious beings. To flourish, we must grasp the philosophical issues lying beneath the algorithms. At the heart of her exploration is a sober-minded discussion of what AI can truly achieve: Can robots really be conscious? Can we merge with AI, as tech leaders like Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil suggest? Is the mind just a program? Examining these thorny issues, Schneider proposes ways we can test for machine consciousness, questions whether consciousness is an unavoidable byproduct of sophisticated intelligence, and considers the overall dangers of creating machine minds.
In this sparkling debut work of popular science, Emma Byrne examines the latest research to show how swearing can be good for you. She explores every angle of swearing--why we do it, how we do it, and what it tells us about ourselves. Packed with the results of unlikely and often hilarious scientific studies--from the "ice-bucket test" for coping with pain, to the connection between Tourette's and swearing, to a chimpanzee that curses at her handler in sign language--Swearing Is Good for You presents a lighthearted but convincing case for the foulmouthed.
Different minds learn differently, writes Dr. Mel Levine, one of the best-known learning experts and pediatricians in America today. Some students are strong in certain areas and some are strong in others, but no one is equally capable in all. Yet most schools still cling to a one-size-fits-all education philosophy. As a result, many children struggle because their learning patterns don't fit the way they are being taught.
In his #1 New York Times bestseller A Mind at a Time, Dr. Levine shows parents and those who care for children how to identify these individual learning patterns, explaining how they can strengthen a child's abilities and either bypass or help overcome the child's weaknesses, producing positive results instead of repeated frustration and failure.
Consistent progress can result when we understand that not every child can do equally well in every type of learning and begin to pay more attention to individual learning patterns -- and individual minds -- so that we can maximize children's success and gratification in life. In A Mind at a Time Dr. Levine shows us how