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The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why Paperback – April 5, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
The Geography of Thought is a very short book, but it should not be read rapidly because of the depth and quantity of information. I have a greater insight and appreciation for the way people think now. I enjoyed it very much.
Nisbett -- somewhat typically of Western authors, be it said -- credits the ancient Greeks with such virtues as a recognition of the uniqueness of the individual, a sense of curiosity, a desire to plumb the underlying reasons and principles of things, and so on, all qualities which he claims are absent or largely absent in China (if not indeed everywhere else in the past). I really don't think these claims stand up to the facts at all. (Don't know if I'm being paranoid, but frankly I seem to pick up faint racist odors coming from this book. And I really do think Nisbett is selecting from the facts.)
A reading of the Analects shows that Confucius was highly sensitive to the differences in personality among his students and tailored his teachings to suit them accordingly. He also demanded a lot of independent thinking from them and got upset when all they did was parrot his words.Read more ›
Now, for the bad. If Nisbett had stuck to his interesting and fascinating experiments on human subjects, this book might have made for some interesting reading. Instead, his aims are much larger. He wants to show that, "Each of these orientations -- the Western and the Eastern -- is a self-reinforcing, homeostatic system. The social practices promote the worldviews: the worldviews dictate the appropriate thought processes; and the thought processes both justify the world views and support the social practices. Understanding these homeostatic systems has implications for grasping the fundamental nature of the mind, for beliefs about how we ought ideally to reason, and for appropriate education strategies for different peoples.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fun in places, but it certainly wasn't an "easy" read. Very thought provoking and important to consider.Published 5 months ago by ev
Richard Nisbett has dissected thoroughly the fundamental differences between the cognitive functions of the East and West. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jason Gregory (Author, Filmmaker & Public Speaker)
This book cuts through a lot of the stereotyping of Western and non-Western peoples by each other, and shows how many of the biggest and most evident differences in our cultures... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brett H Matthews