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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Are we "noble in reason"? Perfect, in God's image? Far from it, says New York University psychologist Gary Marcus. In this lucid and revealing book, Marcus argues that the mind is not an elegantly designed organ but a "kluge," a clumsy, cobbled-together contraption. He unveils a fundamentally new way of looking at the human mind—think duct tape, not supercomputer—that sheds light on some of the most mysterious aspects of human nature.

Taking us on a tour of the fundamental areas of human experience—memory, belief, decision making, language, and happiness—Marcus reveals the myriad ways our minds fall short. He examines why people often vote against their own interests, why money can't buy happiness, why leaders often stick to bad decisions, and why a sentence like "people people left left" ties us into knots even though it's only four words long. He also offers surprisingly effective ways to outwit our inner kluge—for example, always consider alternative explanations, make contingency plans, and beware the vivid, personal anecdote. Throughout, he shows how only evolution—haphazard and undirected—could have produced the minds we humans have, while making a brilliant case for the power and usefulness of imperfection.

Review:

"Evolution seems a rushed process in which traits and attributes of humanity have been pieced together to make a functioning but far from perfect or rational being. Marcus explores the ways in which the human mind, while magnificent in its overall ability, still stumbles on several points. Focusing on areas such as memory, decision making and language, Marcus keenly identifies the makeshift devices humans have created in order to contend with what he describes as 'evolutionary inertia.' Stephen Hoye traverses the complicated aspects of the book with ease, his melodious voice providing just the right emphasis for listeners to understand Marcus's major points. Yet his delivery misses some of the more humorous elements of the book. And Hoye's lingering voice, which seems to trail off after the end of a sentence, may be good for poetry, but can wear on the nonfiction listener. A Houghton Mifflin hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 11)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

How the accidents of evolution created our quirky, imperfect minds—and what we can do about it.

About the Author

Gary Marcus is a professor of psychology at New York University and director of the NYU Infant Language Learning Center. Marcus received his Ph.D. at age twenty-three from MIT, where he was mentored by Steven Pinker. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, the Los Angeles Times, and other major publications. He lives in New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400107513
Author:
Marcus, Gary
Publisher:
Tantor Media Inc
Read by:
Hoye, Stephen
Read:
Hoye, Stephen
Narrated:
Hoye, Stephen
Author:
Hoye, Stephen
Location:
Old Saybrook
Subject:
Life Sciences - Human Anatomy & Physiology
Subject:
Physiological Psychology
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution - Human
Subject:
Human Physiology
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Anatomy and Physiology
Subject:
General Psychology & Psychiatry
Edition Description:
Unabridged,Unabridged CD
Publication Date:
20080631
Binding:
COMPACT DISC
Language:
English
Dimensions:
5.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 in 0.4 lb
Media Run Time:
390

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
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Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind New Compact Disc
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Product details pages Tantor Media - English 9781400107513 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Evolution seems a rushed process in which traits and attributes of humanity have been pieced together to make a functioning but far from perfect or rational being. Marcus explores the ways in which the human mind, while magnificent in its overall ability, still stumbles on several points. Focusing on areas such as memory, decision making and language, Marcus keenly identifies the makeshift devices humans have created in order to contend with what he describes as 'evolutionary inertia.' Stephen Hoye traverses the complicated aspects of the book with ease, his melodious voice providing just the right emphasis for listeners to understand Marcus's major points. Yet his delivery misses some of the more humorous elements of the book. And Hoye's lingering voice, which seems to trail off after the end of a sentence, may be good for poetry, but can wear on the nonfiction listener. A Houghton Mifflin hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 11)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , How the accidents of evolution created our quirky, imperfect minds—and what we can do about it.
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