How The Mind Works

How The Mind Works by Steven Pinker presents his enlightening views on how the mind works. Even though the book dates back to 1997, the ideas are still relevant as ever and most of the (neuro)science is alike to what we think now.

Going by my own memory, the book argues that we learn from combining smaller pieces into larger structures. At least, that is what works on the computational/neuron level. But, the same also goes for learning bigger concepts and also how smaller modules led us learn/enjoy other (more complex) things (like music).

He ends the book with something I don’t fully grog yet, that we are not made to understand consciousness. That from our perspective we can’t really. I do get this if we are talking about an intuitive psychologist (just you and me), but we (humanity) also get/compute prime numbers into the millions. So couldn’t we also figure this out by writing stuff down and learning from the work of others? Time will tell.

Chapter 1-3 Basic brain structures

Chapter 4 Abstract mental processes

Chapter 5 Ideas (see, going up each time)

Chapter 6-7 Emotions, reasoning, friendship

Chapter 8 Art, music, humour