Book ReviewVolume 13 Issue # 21

The Knowledge Illusion

Human reasoning is remarkably shal-low – in fact, our thinking and justifica-tions just scratch the surface of the true complexity of the issues we deal with. The ability to think may still be the greatest wonder in the world (and be-yond), but the way that individuals think is less than ideal. In The Knowl-edge Illusion, Sloman and Fernbach show that our intelligence resides not in individual brains but in the collective mind. To function, individuals rely not only on knowledge that is stored within our skulls but also on knowledge stored elsewhere, be it in our bodies, in the environment or especially in other people. Put together, human thought is incredibly impressive, but at its deepest level it never belongs to any individual alone. And yet the mind supports the most sublime, in-credible phenomenon of all: consciousness. How can any of this be pos-sible with a mind that is so imperfect? This is one of the key challenges confronted in this book. The Knowledge Illusion ties together established scientific facts whilst also considering what the mind is for. Understand-ing why the mind is as it is, and what it is for, will show why we need to consider it as extending beyond our skulls; why we should think about ‘the mind’ as far more than an extension of the brain but as an emer-gence from multiple brains interacting.

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