Thinking Fast and Slow, Kahneman   Although a feeling of awe at the capability of humans is clearly justified, there is a large difference between a deep sense of admiration and the assumption that our reasoning abilities are perfect.   We are not only irrational, but predictably irrational—that our irrationality happens the same way, again and again.   Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, in particular how human nature's natural bias affect our judgment and decisions, for which he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize. He is also knows for his work about happiness economics    "Recognizing where we depart from the ideal is an important part of the quest t ...

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Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Mother Nature What is a maternal instinct? Can a woman "lose" it? If women instinctively love their babies, why do we find so many examples of women abusing their own children and being directly or indirectly involved in infanticide? Why so many mothers around the world behave discriminatory toward their own children?     And what about fathers? Why did they become more attentive to their children's needs? Do they also have a "maternal instinct"? And why are men so interested in controlling, by all kinds of rules and taboos, women's reproduction?   Sarah Hrdy, an anthropologist and primatologist, argues that the western culture's view of motherhood is sentimentally appealing but fails to take into account the wide ra ...

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Richard Dawkins, The Selfish gene

 

This book, published in 1976, is seen today as the most important publication about evolution since Darwin. Read our article about it here.

 

 

Other books recommended

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Frans de Waal, Our Inner Ape When people do evil things, we call them "animals", "inhuman". On the opposite, we talk about "profoundly human" persons, of "humanists", when their behaviors are more fruitful. We tend to consider the behaviors that we consider noble (generosity, empathy, reconciliation ...) as specific to our own species, as the fruit of a moral sense cut from the animal world.     What if these human traits, whether it is violence or empathy and even morality, were an extension of other animal features, an evolutionary extension?     This is the idea that Frans de Waal, an internationally renowned primatologist, defends in Our inner Ape: he object to the popular theories of human exception, as much when they consider huma ...

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Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee

We, humans, share 98 percent of our genes with the pygmy chimpanzee (bonobo) and the common chimpanzee. Yet, we rarely take it into consideration...

But, if we are close genetically to our primate cousins, we are also very different: the "third chimpanzee" dominates the planet, have funded cities, civilizations and religions, has developed various forms of communication, practice arts and science while other primates are primarily concerned with basic needs, survival. What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between us and our cousins?

In this book, Jared Diamond, biologist and Pulitzer Prize winning author explores how the extraordinary human an ...

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Tags: science
The Blank Slate
Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate

 

In his book, The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, explores the last discoveries made about human nature. He shows how many intellectuals of today have come to deny the existence of human nature by embracing three dogmas linked together:

● the Blank Slate: the idea that the human mind has no innate traits

● the Noble Savage: the idea that people are born good but are corrupted by society

● the Ghost in the Machine: the idea that human mind is above the law of physics and biology, through free will for instance.

Our conceptions of human nature affect every aspect of our lives, from the wa ...

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