49 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book that elucidates many areas of the human mind.,
By A Customer
This review is from: How the Mind Works (Paperback)
"How the Mind Works" by Steven Pinker is one ofthe best books available today about the human mind. It is wideranging, extremely well written, and has an thorough bibliography.
The book gives an excellent introduction to cognitive science, which explores the human mind in terms of the composite fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and philosophy. One can read the entire book, take notes, and learn as much in a week or two as one would in a semester college course(s).
The central ideas of the book involve the computational theory of mind and the theory of evolution. Pinker argues that the mind is a modular, information processing, natural adaptation.
In reading about current brain research, I must say that it is amazing how much scientists can learn about the brain simply from close observation of animals, children, brain injury patients, twin siblings, and computerized robots. Pinker also includes important topics such as human emotion, social relations, and the arts.
...Pinker clearly and emphatically addresses the naturalistic fallacy. The naturalistic fallacy involves deriving "ought" from "is". That is to say, the way things were is not necessarily the way things have to be or should be. He leaves plenty of room for human freewill and ethics.
To sum up, an excellent book that elucidates many areas of the human mind.