Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind

Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind

by Robert Kurzban
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691154392

ISBN-13: 9780691154398

Pub. Date: 05/27/2012

Publisher: Princeton University Press

We're all hypocrites. Why? Hypocrisy is the natural state of the human mind.

Robert Kurzban shows us that the key to understanding our behavioral inconsistencies lies in understanding the mind's design. The human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of evolution by natural selection. While these modules sometimes work together

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Overview

We're all hypocrites. Why? Hypocrisy is the natural state of the human mind.

Robert Kurzban shows us that the key to understanding our behavioral inconsistencies lies in understanding the mind's design. The human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of evolution by natural selection. While these modules sometimes work together seamlessly, they don't always, resulting in impossibly contradictory beliefs, vacillations between patience and impulsiveness, violations of our supposed moral principles, and overinflated views of ourselves.

This modular, evolutionary psychological view of the mind undermines deeply held intuitions about ourselves, as well as a range of scientific theories that require a "self" with consistent beliefs and preferences. Modularity suggests that there is no "I." Instead, each of us is a contentious "we"--a collection of discrete but interacting systems whose constant conflicts shape our interactions with one another and our experience of the world.

In clear language, full of wit and rich in examples, Kurzban explains the roots and implications of our inconsistent minds, and why it is perfectly natural to believe that everyone else is a hypocrite.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691154398
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
05/27/2012
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
607,911
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.73(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix
Prologue 1
Chapter 1: Consistently Inconsistent 4
Chapter 2: Evolution and the Fragmented Brain 23
Chapter 3: Who Is "I"? 45
Chapter 4: Modular Me 57
Chapter 5: The Truth Hurts 76
Chapter 6: Psychological Propaganda 98
Chapter 7: Self-Deception 132
Chapter 8: Self-Control 151
Chapter 9: Morality and Contradictions 186
Chapter 10: Morality Is for the Birds 206
Epilogue 218
Notes 221
References 245
Index 267

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