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Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

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Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

I have a couple of books on critical thinking - which show how people can be wrong by exposing the flaws in reasoning that people tend towards, however I would like some books on why (from a neurological/evolutionary standpoint) we are so prone to being wrong, and to believing wrong things.

Can anyone make any suggestions as to good books to read on this topic?

Thanks.
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Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:03 pm
Anachronous RexLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 2008Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:07 pmLocation: Kansas City, MO Gender: Male

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

Our prefrontal lobes are too small. Much too small. That's a problem of the birth canal, I'm very sorry to say for those that like their birth canals... tight.
-C. Hitchens.
Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:52 pm
FrengerBloggerUser avatarPosts: 831Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:50 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

Laurens wrote:I have a couple of books on critical thinking - which show how people can be wrong by exposing the flaws in reasoning that people tend towards, however I would like some books on why (from a neurological/evolutionary standpoint) we are so prone to being wrong, and to believing wrong things.

Can anyone make any suggestions as to good books to read on this topic?

Thanks.


An amazing book I read recently was "Incognito" by David Eagleman. It is probably a little simple but it works as a great introduction and there are some good brain experiments in it as well.

It's very well written too. I would recommend that, seems perfect for what you're asking.
Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:07 am
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devilsadvocateUser avatarPosts: 246Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

It's not a book, but I think it's a succinct summary of some of the irrationalities we are wired to hold and why they were advantageous in terms of evolution by psychology professor James E. Alcock :

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/belief_engine

I quote the first sub-topic here, because in my opinion that is the best part of article:

Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny.
Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:42 am
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:19 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2799Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

Greetings,

Scott Atrans' In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:19 pm
Gila GuerillaUser avatarPosts: 13Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 3:29 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

I don't know if this video by Dan Dennet would be of any interest to you. I found it to be of interest to me:-

Good Reasons for "Believing" in God - Dan Dennett, AAI 2007

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvJZQwy9dvE
Mon May 21, 2012 3:19 am
Gunboat DiplomatUser avatarPosts: 394Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:02 pm

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

I'm not certain this question even needs an answer. It's amazing that we can do any sort of logical reasoning at all. That we don't do it perfectly seems only natural...
Mon May 21, 2012 8:46 am
Your Funny UncleUser avatarPosts: 556Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 11:38 amLocation: UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

You might want to try Supersense by Bruce Hood.
“I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.” - Isaac Asimov
Mon May 21, 2012 9:29 am
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

Your Funny Uncle wrote:You might want to try Supersense by Bruce Hood.


I did get this book a while ago. Its definitely interesting, but I don't like his style of writing. There was a specific passage in which he basically says 'if you're already a sceptic then you probably shouldn't (wouldn't?) be reading this book' or something along those lines, which put me off a little.

The actual science was fascinating, but I couldn't get through it because of the way he seemed to discourage various readers other than his target audience. Also he seems to celebrate superstition as being something wonderfully and marvellously human - which whilst it is true that it is something we all share as humans, I do not think it is something worth celebrating for the amount of trouble it gets us into.
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Thu May 24, 2012 7:43 am
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

There was just a brilliant article in the German March edition of GEO magazine.
GEO magazine, 2012, Aus Fehlern lernen - Vom Wert falscher Entscheidungen, 3/2012, P.136-149

Sadly, it's not available in English. If you want, I can scan it in and send it to you via e-mail. In German though, like I said...
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:37 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2799Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

Greetings,

Another possibility is Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast by Lewis Wolpert.

Also, Why We Believe In God(s) by Thompson and Aukofer.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:49 am
XenophanesPosts: 54Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:35 am

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

I think you could look into the neurological reasons or evolutionary reasons, but actually the most important point is philsophical. Every concious being has a point of view, thid means they interpret the world. Humans are fallible not because they evolved to be fallible, but because they are concious. For instance, just say we located all the biases we could in the human mind and we could eliminate them somehow. this would not make us infallible. This is is because the future is unknown and humans have what Popper called an horizon of expectations, beyond that horizon he is blind, and within that horizon he is taking the risk of accepitng what he believs as true. Science is a way, maybe, of mitigating error, but mot eradicating it. Another argument for this is that even if you are infallible, you can not predict what specific knowledge you will have iin future, because then you would already have it now. this means that there are things you can never know, and are therefore open to error.

Read Poppers interesting essay "on the sources of error"
Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:48 am
abelcainsbrotherBannedUser avatarPosts: 774Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:33 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

I don't know if I can recommend a book but I'll give you some good advice.My advise is look for evidence before you accept an idea.There are things being taught today as truth that do not have real evidence to back it up and if you focus on evidence then you'll be able to tell what is right and what is wrong.

It is OK to hold out on something until enough evidence is presented,don't be so quick to accept things so quickly,take your time and look for evidence.Yes it can be time consuming but it is really the only way to discover truth.Also because I'm a Christian if you're looking for evidence God is real then I would say salvation through Jesus is the greatest proof I know of that God is real.I feel like I could fill up whole threads with evidence for God but IMO salvation by Jesus is the greatest proof and evidence to me.

You see Christianity is not like religion where you join a religion and change yourself,no,you are not a Christian until you are saved by Jesus,until then going to church will do you no good at all,you'd be surprised how many people go to hell even though they went to church.So I would go to Jesus and seek him until you know he has saved you and you'll know when it happens and you'll have proof he is real.
Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:44 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2204Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

I'm looking for books on how to commit necromancy on long-dead threads with idiotic navel-gazing fuckwittery. Got anything like that?
Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:05 am
surreptitious57Posts: 212Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:09 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

The human brain is divided into two hemispheres and from a general perspective the left one deals with logic and the right one deals with emotion
But this is academic to the more important fact that we are as much emotional beings as logical ones. This would explain why it is easy to engage
in emotional reasoning and so conflate objective truth with subjective truth. And why cognitive dissonance is possible. And why it is possible to be
entirely or predominantly logical about some things and entirely or predominantly emotional about other things. We are not Vulcans and never will
be no matter how logical we may either want to be or actually are. So rather than deny emotion or emotional thinking what one should do is limit it
to where it is actually necessary. So I for example apply emotion when reading literature or listening to music as those are activities which require
emotional responses. But when it comes to understanding physics or maths I put emotion to one side and use logic instead for those are subjects
which require that approach. And so the knack is in knowing which to use and when. Recommended book : How The Mind Works : Steven Pinker

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:45 pm
XenophanesPosts: 54Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:35 am

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

hackenslash wrote:I'm looking for books on how to commit necromancy on long-dead threads with idiotic navel-gazing fuckwittery. Got anything like that?



No books

But there is an interesting resource here:

memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=619
Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:50 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2204Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

:lol:

Nice one.
Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:55 pm
redPosts: 142Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:11 am

Post Re: Looking for books on why we're wrong (as opposed to how)

hackenslash wrote:I'm looking for books on how to commit necromancy on long-dead threads with idiotic navel-gazing fuckwittery. Got anything like that?

Necromancy for Beginners Kindle Edition by Donna Flynn
Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:28 am
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