Written on April 23, 2012
Good Thinking: Seven Powerful Ideas That Influence the Way We Think by Denise D. Cummins (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
Book description from the publisher:
Do you know what economists mean when they refer to you as a “rational agent”? Or why a psychologist might label your idea a “creative insight”? Or how a philosopher could be logical but also passionate in persuading you to obey “moral imperatives”? Or why scientists disagree about the outcomes of experiments comparing drug treatments and disease risk factors? After reading this book, you will be wiser in two ways: You will know how the best and brightest thinkers judge the ways we decide, argue, solve problems, and tell right from wrong. But you will also understand why, when we don’t meet these standards, it is not always a bad thing. The answers are rooted in the way the human brain has been wired over evolutionary time to make us kinder and more generous than economists think we ought to be, and more resistant to change and persuasion than scientists and scholars think we ought to be.
Table of contents:
2. Rational choice: choosing what is most likely to give you what you want
3. Game theory: when you’re not the only one choosing
4. Moral decision-making: how we tell right from wrong
5. The game of logic
6. What causes what?
7. Hypothesis testing: truth and evidence
8. Problem solving: another way of getting what you want
9. Analogy: this is like that