Decision Making and Rationality in the Modern World is part of the Fundamentals of Cognition series by Oxford University Press. Since purchasing this book I have returned to it time and time again. It is genuinely deserving of being seen as ‘fundamental’.
It is deceptively short. At 160 pages in six chapters, it suggests a quick read. If you want to get the most out of this book you’ll take your time. When you reach Chapter Three ‘Judgment: Rationality of Belief’ you will be well on your way to asking a lot of questions about what you believe to be true (and why). This is the point of the book: to encourage us to ask questions of our own thinking.
Plugging a typical paragraph into Hemingway returns a red Readability rating, equivalent to a 19th Grade education. So it’s not going to be a light read. However, the book still serves as an excellent introduction to the field. You just have to pace yourself. A very helpful feature is a bibliography at the end of each chapter. Each chapter concludes with a useful ‘Summary and Conclusion’ section which will keep you anchored.
Stanovich’s opens his concluding section with the observation ‘The best tools of thought are self-correcting because they critique themselves’. This is a great advertisement for making the effort to be the best thinkers we can. And if that’s something that you aspire to, then this book belongs on your bookshelf.
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press USA (1 June 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195328124
- ISBN-13: 978-0195328127
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 20.6 x 14 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 227 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 478,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)