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How Real Is Real? Paperback – January 12, 1977
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"This is an astounding book. Watzlawick waltzes with ease and elegance through semantic traps, pitfalls in logic and all the other contraptions by which 'people can drive each other crazy' or, as he so correctly observes, by which they 'communicate'....This is popularization in the best sense, that is, where complexity is not simplified but clarified." -- Heinz Von Foerster
From the Inside Flap
on between communication and reality is a relatively new idea. It is only in recent decades that the confusions, disorientations and very different world views that arise as a result of communication have become an independent field of research. One of the experts who has been working in this field is Dr. Paul Watzlawick, and he here presents, in a series of arresting and sometimes very funny examples, some of the findings.
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Reiterating his essential thesis to reflexive psychotherapy, wherein clinicians would automatically assume an authoritarian stance of making interpretations of a patient's unconscious behaviors. As a proponent of Second-Order Cybernetics, change occurs when the therapist effectively intervenes on the patient's & their own linguistic constructions, emphasizing novel, creative, & often bizarre therapeutic prescriptions.
Paul Watzlawick takes the reader through a sampling of alternative takes on reality; how they are generally perceived, along with various details on how these views of reality came about. All meant to instill in the reader a sense that, while the jury may be out on many considerations of reality, there are certain aspects that can be considered touchstones, invitations, as it were, to investigate further how we humans attempt to deal with the here and now. As with any thoughtful author, it is instructive to delve into Mr. Watzlawick's bibliography, to divine how he came to some of the views he holds. Not for the tender-minded. This is definitely for the reader who considers this sort of writing as reading for learning. My purpose in writing this review, by the way, isn't to provide you, the prospective reader, with a cliff notes version of it; I actually stumbled upon the book in the Boston Public library and read it merely on the strength of its title, in one sitting. What's your style?
"How Real Is Real?" is amusing, informative and as thrilling and persuasive as a detective story. You can even try and verify many of the communicative games described in the book with your friends, your family of your colleagues. This book is not only valuable for potential Communication Scientists, but also for everyone who is interested in the way we communicate, in understanding, in truth and lies - and the effects and problems that come with them. This book is definitely a "Thumbs Up".