The Human Mind

The Human Mind

A Brief Tour of Everything We Know

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Are you a human? Do you have a mind? Then this book is for you.

'The story of the human mind as told by psychology's best storyteller' DANIEL GILBERT

Nothing is more familiar and yet less understood than the human mind. It defines the experience of being human, and yet its workings contain some of the deepest mysteries ever encountered. Written by one of the world's greatest teachers of psychology, The Human Mind provides a masterful and riveting guide to all that we have learned since modern science began probing those mysteries.

How does a three-pound lump of grey-ish meat give rise to conscious experience?
What is the function of emotions such as disgust, gratitude and shame?
How do our biases affect us and how can we overcome them?
How does the mind of a child differ from that of an adult?
How does memory work? What causes mental illness?
Are we rational? Are we all a little bit racist?
What makes us kind? What makes us cruel?
What makes us happy?

Many of these questions now have answers; many others don't yet; many widely accepted theories are probably wrong. This book takes us to the very limits of what is known. It shines new light on all that you take most for granted: everything you think and feel, everything you say and do, everything that makes you you.

'An extraordinary book that absolutely delivers on its sweeping ambitions ... like having the mind's complexities untangled by a witty, eloquent and deeply knowledgeable friend' OLIVER BURKEMAN
©2023 Paul Bloom (P)2023 Penguin Audio

Reviews

  • An extraordinary book that absolutely delivers on its sweeping ambitions. Every chapter here - on topics ranging from Freud to the mysteries of consciousness, from intergroup conflict to the meaning of life - feels like having the mind's complexities untangled by a witty, eloquent and deeply knowledgeable friend
    OLIVER BURKEMAN, author of Four Thousand Weeks

About the author

Paul Bloom

Paul Bloom is Professor of Psychology at University of Toronto and the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores the psychology of morality, identity and pleasure. Bloom is the recipient of multiple awards and honours, including most recently the million-dollar Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize. He has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for the New York Times, New Yorker, Atlantic and Guardian. He is the author or editor of eight books, including Just Babies, How Pleasure Works, Descartes' Baby, Against Empathy and most recently The Sweet Spot.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more