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Unraveling the Enigma of Reason

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My favorite book of 2018 was Dan Sperber and Hugo Mercier’s The Enigma of Reason. I covered it in my book club as a podcast, but the ideas are so interesting that I wanted to take a second chance to explain them.

The basic puzzle is this:

  1. If reason is so useful, why do human beings seem to be the only animals to possess it? Surely, a lion who had excellent reasoning abilities would catch more gazelles? Yet human beings seem to be alone in the ability to reason about things.

  2. If reason is so powerful, why are we so bad at it? Why do we have tons of cognitive biases? Reasoned thinking is supposed to be good, but we seem to use it fairly little as a species.

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Photo from SHODOgraphy / Getty Images.

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Click the link below for the article:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/unraveling-the-enigma-of-reason?utm_source=pocket_discover

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