The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life
Human beings are primates, and primates are political animals. Our brains, therefore, are designed not just to hunt and gather, but also to help us get ahead socially, often via deception and self-deception. But while we may be self-interested schemers, we benefit by pretending otherwise. The less we know about our own ugly motives, the better - and thus we don't like to talk or even think about the extent of our selfishness. This is "the elephant in the brain." Such an introspective taboo makes it hard for us to think clearly about our nature and the explanations for our behavior. The aim of this book, then, is to confront our hidden motives directly - to track down the darker, unexamined corners of our psyches and blast them with floodlights. Then, once everything is clearly visible, we can work to better understand ourselves: Why do we laugh? Why are artists sexy? Why do we brag about travel? Why do we prefer to speak rather than listen? Our unconscious motives drive more than just our private behavior; they also infect our venerated social institutions such as Art, School, Charity, Medicine, Politics, and Religion. In fact, these institutions are in many ways designed to accommodate our hidden motives, to serve covert agendas alongside their "official" ones. The existence of big hidden motives can upend the usual political debates, leading one to question the legitimacy of these social institutions, and of standard policies designed to favor or discourage them. You won't see yourself - or the world - the same after confronting the elephant in the brain.
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... Consumption 169 11 Art 187 12 Charity 205 13 Education 225 14 Medicine 241 15 Religion 261 16 Politics 283 17 Conclusion 303 Notes 315 References 353 Index 385 PREFACE Although Robin has blogged on related topics for over Contents.
To get healthier: That's their one and only goal, right? Maybe not. Consider some of the puzzling data points that Robin discovered. To start with, people in developed countries consume way too much medicine— doctor visits, drugs, ...
Altogether, these puzzles cast considerable doubt on the simple idea that medicine is strictly about health. To explain these and other puzzles, Robin took an approach unusual among health policy experts. He suggested that people might ...
But the net result is that patients end up getting more medicine than they need strictly for their health. The conclusion is that medicine isn't just about health— it's also an exercise in conspicuous caring.
The point is, people don't typically think or talk in terms of maximizing social status— or, in the case of medicine, showing conspicuous care. And yet we all instinctively act this way. In fact, we're able to act quite skillfully and ...
ما يقوله الناس - كتابة مراجعة
LibraryThing Reviewمعاينة المستخدمين - Paul_S - LibraryThing
There is nothing surprising or even taboo in this book. What sheltered lives do the authors lead? This is one step above a bloke in a pub. An interesting, articulate guy but still not any kind of expert in the field. Scholarly paper - this is not. قراءة التقييم بأكمله
LibraryThing Reviewمعاينة المستخدمين - Tytania - LibraryThing
I really didn't learn anything. We are primates who seek to elevate our status. Almost anything we do can be viewed in this light, if you squint hard enough. This really didn't add any "a-ha" moments ... قراءة التقييم بأكمله