Download The Enigma of Reason Audiobook

The Enigma of Reason Audiobook, by Hugo Mercier Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Dan Sperber, Hugo Mercier Narrator: Liam Gerrard Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2017 ISBN: 9781541486218
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Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. If reason is so useful, why didn’t it also evolve in other animals? If reason is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? In their groundbreaking account of the evolution and workings of reason, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber set out to solve this double enigma. Reason, they argue with a compelling mix of real-life and experimental evidence, is not geared to solitary use, to arriving at better beliefs and decisions on our own. What reason does, rather, is help us justify our beliefs and actions to others, convince them through argumentation, and evaluate the justifications and arguments that others address to us.

In other words, reason helps humans better exploit their uniquely rich social environment. This interactionist interpretation explains why reason may have evolved and how it fits with other cognitive mechanisms. It makes sense of strengths and weaknesses that have long puzzled philosophers and psychologists—why reason is biased in favor of what we already believe, why it may lead to terrible ideas and yet is indispensable to spreading good ones.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Narrator Liam Gerrard's beautifully raspy voice goes well with his English accent. . . . His pacing and projection keep the text moving at a consistent pace and help unpack passages that involve complex logic. AudioFile

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About the Author

Hugo Mercier is a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, working in the Cognitive Science Institute Marc Jeannerod in Lyon.

About the Narrator

Liam Gerrard is an award-winning voice artist with over ten years of experience working in every field of the voice industry, as well as a highly acclaimed stage and screen actor. A 2017 Audie Award nominee, he has narrated over thirty audiobooks in a wide range of genres and styles.