Distinguished authors like Daniel Kahneman, Dan
Ariely, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb have written much about the flaws in the
human brain when it comes time to make a decision. Our intuitions and passions
frequently fail us, leading to outcomes we don’t want.
In this book, Eyal Winter, professor of economics
and director of the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, wonders why. If our emotions are so destructive and
unreliable, why has evolution left us with them? The answer is that, even
though they may not behave in a purely logical manner, our emotions frequently
lead us to better, safer, more optimal outcomes.
In fact, as Winter discovers, there is often logic
in emotion and emotion in logic. For instance, many mutually beneficial
commitments—such as marriage or being a member of a team—are only possible when
underscored by emotion rather than deliberate thought. The difference between
pleasurable music and bad noise is mathematically precise, yet it is also the
result of evolution. And our inherent overconfidence—the mathematically
impossible fact that most people see themselves as above average—affords us
advantages in competing for things we benefit from, like food and money and
romance. Other subjects illuminated in the book include the rationality of
seemingly illogical feelings like trust, anger, shame, ego, and generosity.
Already a bestseller in Israel, Feeling Smart brings together game theory, evolution, and behavioral science to produce a
surprising and very persuasive defense of how we think, even when we don’t. Download and start listening now!