Self-deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind

eBook - 2013
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Describes why humans are able to deny reality and ignore their own inevitable deaths to the detriment of the entire species and what might be done to change this mindset.
Publisher: New York : Twelve, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781455579181
Characteristics: 1 online resource (375 p.)
Additional Contributors: Brower, Danny L.


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Aug 09, 2017

Incredibly thorough treatment of a simple and intriguing idea - that as we become aware of our mortality as infants, we take shelter from that immense and dreadful reality by desperately looking for distracting alternatives, and find the most comfort from the very natural and very available sense of self importance that we all encourage in each other for the rest of our lives.

(Note that this is MY description and I apologise if it is not as the author sees it, but this is what I'm getting out of it. The book's language is more like - we have evolved a complex neurology to deal with the dread we feel and felt as we evolved self-consciousness about our tenuous existence.)

But whatever my description suggests, it is pure science. Eminent Dr. Varkia (it is almost all his work) covers every field of study that has or can contribute to this idea.

That is all good and I think it will possibly form the basis of a new field of study. What is most exciting, in my humble opinion, is that this deals with the fundamental reality of being human - that we, for whatever reason, cannot help but focus on tasks, issues, and situations IN OUR MINDS rather than focus on the reality of our temporary existence IN THE ETERNAL MOMENT. I see the potential of getting us out of our eternal (seemingly) conflict with our nature, with nature and with each other by seeing more of reality.

Jan 22, 2017

A fascinating interview with the primary author of this book, Ajit Varki, discussing how he came to write this book and its key messages, as well as how he would have liked to have written a better produced and promoted book on this material, can be found at the January 18, 2017 episode of the podcast RADIO ECOSHOCK.

Sep 20, 2016

The author has brought to light a theory about our cognitive origins (the mortality realisation barrier we needed to overcome) that a fellow scientist had. Although not their specific area of expertise, the book gave some good introductory information about "Theory of Mind", how little we know about animals and our past behaviours. Interesting what he describes as the (Alfred) "Wallace conundrum" of cognitive pre-selection. It was a bit repetitive though.


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