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How the Mind Works Cover Image

How the Mind Works

How do our minds gain consciousness and function?

Steven Pinker

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How the Mind Works

How the Mind Works Summary

Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we will unlock the book How the Mind Works.

From the 1950s to the 1980s, countless science fiction movies reflected a public fear that robots would one day become too intelligent and powerful, resulting in them rebelling against human beings.

Science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov, once proposed the famous Three Laws of Robotics in his short story, Runaround. The three laws are as follows: 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Over time, however, this fear has unexpectedly abated. People are beginning to understand that malicious crime, much like vision, motion coordination, and common sense, does not come naturally to artificial intelligence but requires programming. When examining ourselves, we will find that every function is based on very complex programming. This includes our vision, actions, common sense, violence, morality, and ability to love. Computers lack the complex minds of human beings.

According to Pinker, the mind is a system of organs of computation. It is the result of “natural selection”, produced as our ancestors went through the process of overcoming the challenges to survival. In other words, the mind is not the brain, but the result of the brain’s actions. So, how exactly did our minds gain consciousness and evolve? What capabilities do we possess? This book, How the Mind Works, will take you on a journey to help you understand the science of the mind.

The author of this book is Steven Pinker, a world-renowned linguist and cognitive psychologist. He is a professor of experimental psychology at Harvard University, and a celebrated TED speaker. Pinker has dedicated himself to studying children’s language acquisition for many years. His book, The Language Instinct, appeared on the list of “100 Best Science Books of the 20th Century” by the magazine Scientific American. Pinker once worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Professor of Psychology, and eventually became Director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience there. Pinker was twice listed on Foreign Policy magazine’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers”, and was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World”. Based on his research in psychology, sociology, biology, and other fields, Pinker deconstructs the fantastically complex design of the human mind. He also explains that the mind is the fundamental reason why humans were able to claim our place at the top of the biological food chain.

This Bookey will give you a detailed description of the mind through the exploration of two key areas. These include the origins of the mind and the mind’s abilities. Let’s examine them one by one.

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