Re: PSYCH: Book Recommendation: Pinker's "How the Mind Works"

Mark Crosby (
Sun, 29 Mar 1998 16:49:18 -0800 (PST)

I wrote critically of being concerned when people
want to learn about a subject outside of their
profession and just pick one or two books by a few
notable authors and base most of their conclusions on
those. Truth be told, I was jealous of not having the
time to read complete books and having to rely so
much on 'lighter' Web essays. wrote:
> Oops -- I meant "Pinker and other 'computational
evolutionary psychologists' (to coin a term) are not
nearly the simple reductionists that Rose makes out."
> I suppose Rose by any other name would be just as
much of a pinko.

After making my post, I had a number of personal
encounters last week where the irrational behaviors
seemed to confirm quite a few propositions of
evolutionary psychology (I'm looking a little more
favorably at some of these as a result ;-)

As for the Pinker vs. Rose politics, I agree with
you. This is the type of thing one more easily
discovers in Web or journal forums than by slogging
through a single author's entire thesis - too often
they hit you with some soppy or socialistic
conclusion in the last chapters!

BTW, I slogged through the archives of the
Autopoiesis List this weekend. Lots of fascinating
discussion there; BUT, my na´ve estimations of the
practical value of the Theory of Autopoiesis have
been chopped down a few notches (and I saved myself
the effort of wading through any more of Maturana &
Varela's texts ;-).

Mark Crosby

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