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Publisher's Summary

Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. If reason is so useful, why didn't it also evolve in other animals? If reason is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense?
In their groundbreaking account of the evolution and workings of reason, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber set out to solve this double enigma. Reason, they argue with a compelling mix of real-life and experimental evidence, is not geared to solitary use, to arriving at better beliefs and decisions on our own. What reason does, rather, is help us justify our beliefs and actions to others, convince them through argumentation, and evaluate the justifications and arguments that others address to us. In other words, reason helps humans better exploit their uniquely rich social environment.
This interactionist interpretation explains why reason may have evolved and how it fits with other cognitive mechanisms. It makes sense of strengths and weaknesses that have long puzzled philosophers and psychologists-why reason is biased in favor of what we already believe, why it may lead to terrible ideas and yet is indispensable to spreading good ones.
©2017 Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber (P)2017 Tantor
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By Philomath on 12-02-17

Reason after the fact

I believe there is a slow consensus developing in Cognitive Science as to how Reason fits in to our daily life, and it is contrary to the long assumed belief that reason is a precursor to a decision.

In this book the author further develops the theory that we all for the most part use reason to justify an action, and there is good evidence that even long thought out Arguments are biased, and reason is only used after the fact to justify ones position.

Very, very interesting indeed!

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