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39 Reviews
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly foundational book for anyone serious about Psychology.
"I" almost didn't purchase this book - what a serious mistake that would have been! Having read The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self by Philosopher Thomas Metzinger, I felt I was thoroughly acquainted with the notion that there is no self. Also, I have read: Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Behavioral...
Published on February 24, 2011 by Amazon Customer

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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely the Hedgehog!
In philosopher Isaiah Berlin's analogy, there is a hedgehog and a fox. The hedgehog who knows a lot about one big idea, and the fox who knows a little about a lot of different ideas. Robert Kurzban appears in this book to be very much a hedgehog: his idea is that our brain is not really a unitary whole so much as a collection of modules that sometimes might communicate...
Published on June 18, 2011 by Kevin Currie-Knight


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Hypocrite" is another nail in the unitarian coffin, June 9, 2011
This review is from: Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind (Hardcover)
Robert Kurzban draws on a vast amount of research with two major objectives: explain why the unitary model of cognition is bunk, and tease out why our minds are capable of such bizarre inconsistencies.

Debunking the unitarian view requires little help: advances in technology over the past three decades have essentially rendered the field moot in terms of explanatory power over the broadest swath of human cognition. The modular model appears poised to win out, and Kurzban clearly supports it. In this regard he only misses explaining one topic I find most interesting: what are the anatomical features of the identified functional modules? It feels like such a tease to be led on a journey through the broad functions of the mind without an explicit undertaking to reveal the mechanisms involved. Arguably, Kurzban is a psychologist and not a neuroanotomist, but it really is a shame to miss out on these details.

In describing the vast inconsistencies within the human mind-brain, Kurzban takes the reader through morality, hypocrisy, self-deception, and every other conceivable quirk of the human race. There is so much evidence here that Kurzban has a difficult time culling the many examples down to the most salient. On the whole he succeeds. His only shortcoming here is the brief, though passionate foray into pontificating on the virtues of discarding inconsistencies as we see them.

Whether or not his analysis of the philosophy behind allowance of inconsistencies is accurate, he does an impeccable job of organizing the data into a cogent, flowing, and often outright hilarious fashion.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kurzban is the man, February 2, 2011
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This review is from: Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind (Hardcover)
Rob's sarcasm & enthusiasm in the classroom comes out on paper, too! Great educator; he carefully articulates the tenets of Evolutionary Psychology and easily instills in the student/reader a passion for this academic discipline. Kurzban is one of those teachers that shows you how to think: how to ask the right questions and how to evaluate any potential answers. Add this book along with the basics of evolution to the List of Things Everybody Living in the Twenty-First Century Should Know!
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4.0 out of 5 stars learned alot, August 24, 2014
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I'm just starting to become interested in evolutionary psychology and in particular the modular view of the mind. This book helped me understand many aspects of my own and others' behavior that I never thought about before. In general I feel I have a much better grasp now of what is going on inside me, and that is invaluable. Minus one star because at times he inserts his opinion with substantiation and also makes alot of lame jokes.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning, June 20, 2011
This review is from: Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind (Hardcover)
Kurzban's book is charming, clever, funny and wry. He wears his learning lightly. But do not be fooled. This is a deeply subversive and radical book. It will mess with your head.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressing book, March 19, 2014
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ferran (País Valencià (South Europe)) - See all my reviews
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I've really enjoyed reading this book. The author cleverly explains some of the most intriguing aspects of Evolutionary Psychology in a plain language without missing specificity or scientific rigour. The points about breaking down charlatan-like psychological literature about self-esteem, self-control and other similar topics are really brilliant. I'll recommend it for all my Psychology students.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Will Help You Expand Your Way of Thinking, February 13, 2014
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By using a combination of facts, studies and anecdotes Robert Kurzban gives the reader an introduction of evolutionary psychology. I've only taken a 100 level college course on Psychology so I can't speak to what spectrum of the science it falls on. I did feel that the ideas were sound though and have had success using them to my advantage.

For example: Kurzban likens the brain to an iPhone and the mind to the apps that are loaded on it. You can listen to music while you browse the internet. But you can't play a game and take notes at the same time. Knowing that, it's easy for me to visualize all of my behavior as some routine being run by a part of my mind. If I feel conflicted about something maybe it's because two "apps" are trying to run at the same time. Spending money on $0.69 songs feels good in the moment but not later when I'm reviewing my checking account balance.

If this sounds interesting to you then you should read the book. Robert Kurzban is much better at explaining the reasonings behind it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CHALLENGES SOME IDEAS, January 21, 2014
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I found some insights into the way we think. While it is not a cover to cover must read I found it very interesting
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Opinion based book, September 16, 2012
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The topic of the book is very interesting, but that is where my interest ends. This book manages to stick away from the facts and moves into a completely opinion based argument. That might be tolerable, but when the author starts giving his opinion about different authors or books and even the best TV show he has ever seen I could care less. I could not make it past the 5th chapter. He argues how the brain is modular and how there can be conflict in the brain. He labors the point without ever explaining how or why this really is the case.

He criticizes the concept of a complete brain, but then just shifts the concept into modular components of the brain. Ignoring the argument that these subcomponents could have conflict in the brain as well. It seems that his argument is just completely flawed. Even with a weak argument his writing style manages to plunge even lower!

This book really should be called "Why everyone has an opinion.." He manages to get 2 stars one for for the minimum and the second for the topic. Also I think 2 stars tends to be a better warning to others than a 1 star vote. And I just want to warn people not to waist their time.

For my money I would buy books by David J. Linden. He manages to constantly tie his concepts back to case studies. His books discuss the modular aspect of the brain using cases of trauma to regions of the brain. He has numerous examples to build up his case and uses very descriptive style versus a didactic opinion bases style.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar introduction to evolutionary psychology, March 5, 2011
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This review is from: Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind (Hardcover)
Why everyone (else) is a hypocrite is a remarkably good book. With clarity and wit, Kurzban argues convincingly that the modular structure of the mind accounts for our own and others' behavioral inconsistencies and all manner of hypocrisy. Kurzban shows that conflict between modules of the mind designed to solve different adaptive problems generates contradictory beliefs, desires, and emotions. Not only has Kurzban clearly argued why everyone is a hypocrite, but also his book provides one of the very best introductions to evolutionary psychology. Why everyone (else) is a hypocrite will be required reading my undergraduate Evolutionary Psychology courses.

Todd Shackelford
Co-Editor, Evolutionary Psychology [...]
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gave me a new understanding of humanity, March 20, 2013
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This opened a new way of looking at humanity. Not that this is the one true understanding of all things, but certainly new ways of looking at things.
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Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind
Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind by Robert Kurzban (Hardcover - January 23, 2011)
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