Monday, 6 October 2008
How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker
Complicated and challenging material made to seem almost light and entertaining by a great author.
This is a huge topic and not surprisingly other reviewers have complained that we do not get a clear and precise let alone a complete answer to meet the challenge of the title. I find these complaints a little unfair as I don't think anyone does really understand everything about the mind.
What we do get though is a fairly up to date (1997) summary of thinking on this huge topic so far.
Just understanding what the actual question "How the mind works" means is a fascinating insight into the private little bite of infinity we all seem to carry around inside our heads.
We do also get a guided tour of the history of the attempts to answer this question and therefore a better understanding of why we are where we are with the current theories.
The writing quality is high with wit and clearness perhaps his two best qualities.
Four out of five stars.