When most people think about the human capacity for reason, they imagine that facts enter the brain and valid conclusions come out. Science reveals this isn’t the case. People’s ability to reason is subject to a staggering number of biases. But what if the human capacity for reason didn’t evolve to help us solve problems; what if its purpose is to help people survive being near each other? getAbstract recommends Pulitzer Prize–winning author Elizabeth Kolbert’s thought-provoking article to readers who want to know why people stand their ground, even when they’re standing in quicksand.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why researchers are searching for alternative explanations for the evolution of human cognition,
- How human capacity for reason may have evolved for social rather than problem-solving purposes, and
- Why there is reason for hope despite the human proclivity for flawed thinking.
About the Author
Elizabeth Kolbert is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. She has written for The New Yorker since 1999.