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34 Reviews
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4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real page-turner of heavyweight ideas.
The two leitmotifs of this stimulating book are "the computational theory of mind" and the theory that the mind is an array of "mental organs" that have evolved through natural selection. Kind of like Babbage and Turing meet Darwin and Dawkins. Pinker pulls together material from many sources to illustrate these theories and weaves them together into a compelling...
Published on 9 Mar 2001 by Mr. Stuart Robert Harris

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43 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, but far too one-sided
Steven Pinker starts this book by informing us that we DON'T know how the mind works, and that he hasn't found out how the mind works either; which is perhaps a stab at irony (not covered in the part on humour), or simply a bad book title. Pithy comments aside, this is a long but engaging read, which covers not only a lot of theory but investigates many ideas thoroughly...
Published on 27 Oct 2000


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - a truly fascinating and engaging text, 23 April 1999
By A Customer
This book is a wonderful reference and a truly interesting and engaging story of the mind at work and play. Well worth a read.
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17 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FACINATING, 1 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This book is a facinating study of human nature on an individual psychological and physiological scale. Not to mention psychological. It is crammed with statistics and facts I never knew. Not boring ones, but really interesting ones. And it's funny. The guy has a sense of humor. If your looking to understand yourself and how your mind works, then get this book. Another book I would recommend that is along this genre is called, The Little Guide To Happiness. It too explores the psychology of how we work in a humorous and enlightened way. Plus it's funny too.
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27 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How the Mind Works - an analogy for a review, 22 April 2005
By 
David (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a book (also available in audio-book) which can best be described with an analogy:
It is like a book titled "How a clock works". There are many details about gears, and the history of gears, and the idea behind the gear. There are some witty remarks and examination of the history of the STUDY of gears. There are a few off-hand remarks about springs and their uses in other devices. And there is a thoroughly dull discussion of the history of the study of the analysis of the evolution of the possible ideas about time and time-keeping, in the 4th person, removed twice.
But it never tells you anything about how a clock works...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of How the Mind Works, 17 Feb 1999
By A Customer
A really well written, humorous book which explores all the aspects of the mind, going beyond simply scientific analysis. The best book of its type that I have read yet. Buy it!
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly fantastic, 7 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Every single page of this book is thought provoking and crammed full of good content. I don't agree with everything Steven Pinker says, but at least I've started thinking about some if it now. In my top 5 books ever. Loved it. Buy this book.
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8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Few Good Jokes, A Few Interesting Remarks - But That's All, 1 Jan 2000
By A Customer
The idea of Mr Pinker's book is brilliant. Who has never wondered about how it all works, the chemistry, the physics, perhaps even the METAphysics of the human mind.
Therefore, it is really a shame that the author puts such an effort in spreading around humouristic references to make the reader keep going, that he often loses the point. It IS a good effect in the writing procedure to kick in some unexpectedly contra-academic examples from Calvin & Hobbes, from Woody Allen or from Monty Python - but the sad thing is that these humouristic kicks really are the PEAKS in »How The Mind Works«.
The reader never really gets a fully reliable explanation of the mind's mystery attics, narrow paths, and dark alleys. Instead, the author refers to a lot of theories and then argues much too superficially and easily about which theory is likely to be right, according to him.
»How The Mind Works« has a superb idea - an idea with a great potential and therefore enormous potential public... if it is developped further and into something more thoroughly, profoundly and reliable.
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8 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, well written, thought provoking and funny!!, 9 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Pinker thinks of the brain as a computer developed by natural selection. Uses masses of references and quotes to keep book interesting and informative. Fantastic Read!!
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good material spoilt by a bad writing style, 29 Sep 1999
By 
Ian Howlett "ighowlett" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Some academics can think brilliantly. Some can write brilliantly. Some can do both brilliantly. It's a shame that Steven Pinker can't. There is some interesting material in this book, there is no doubting that. However, Pinker's style hides these gems behind page after page of tedious, overly long and complex sentences.
The book is physically hard to read, the small text and Pinker's verbose style combining to make a book which is more of a chore than a pleasure to plough through.
If a second edition were to be released, perhaps with a co-author who has ripped out the core ideas of this book and rewritten them in a concise and readable style, then such a book would be highly recommended. As it is, though, this book is twice as long as it needs to be and is too heavy going. It is worth persevering with, but it shouldn't have to be this way.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GG, 15 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Twas' more of a gift really ...Can't say as of yet. Why do I need to say so much stuff?
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating overview of some bits of the brain, 30 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This book is an entertaining summary of many of the main themes of evolutionary psychology. However, as fun as it is to read, it is a little longwinded in places where it draws out a point. But then, given the highly emotional content, it seemed he was mostly writing for his critics rather than to instruct people who already accept some of the basic ideas of evolutionary psychology.
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