Cover Image: Think Better

Think Better

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Member Reviews

I learned a ton. Many highlights. The concepts occasionally went over my head, into philosophy land, but overall an excellent summary of many ways we can think better, and thus improve our interactions with others.
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“Reason without knowledge is very much like a dull knife: it can’t cut through the layers of information to get to the truth of the matter. By figuring out how knowledge works, we learn how to sharpen the knife of reason and how to use it properly.”

I was excited to read this book, because I admire those who are able to use logical reasoning and share their ideas in an eloquent way that also respects those with different viewpoints. This is an area where I think most of us (myself definitely included) need some work, and I was excited to learn “how to sharpen the knife of reason and how to use it properly.” 

Right off the bat, there were a few concepts that I’m not sure I agree with, and others I would have loved to do more research on to figure out whether I agree or disagree. While I know a lot of research went into this book, there wasn’t quite the breadth of footnotes and citations I would have expected when claiming something as fact. Instead, the author seems to take some of these concepts as universally absolute.

There were several concepts in the book that I found fascinating, like how faulty syllogisms can be used to manipulate thinking and how invalid analogies can be used to incite emotion in a dangerous way. I’m glad the book also talked a bit about how the data we look at has usually been filtered in some way, and that consumers of information need to know how to sift through the pieces and methodologies and biases to understand what it all means. In today’s “fake news” world, these are ideas and skills that are extremely important to understand. 

I do wish, however, that the book went a bit deeper into the HOW of it all. I appreciated the use of language and story the author uses to make the concepts accessible to the average reader. For someone just beginning a metacognitive journey, this book would probably be a good starting point. As someone who has done this, though, I wanted to dive deep into learning about how we process information and how we can reason more effectively with ourselves and with others. Knowing how to sift through and assess information, how to self-reflect in a meaningful way, how to effectively discuss topics when another person isn’t using logical thinking, how to get out of a cycle involving circular reasoning and confirmation bias… these would all have been practical bits of information with direct relevance and opportunity for application.

Overall, the book was much more a philosophical endeavor than a neuroscientific look at how humans think and reason. I kind of wish we were given more on where these two branches meet instead of (what felt like many) arguments as to why philosophy gives a better explanation on thinking and reasoning abilities.

Thanks to NetGalley and Baker Academic & Brazos Press for this advanced readers copy of the book!
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I enjoyed this book though my experience likely woulD have beEn Enhanced were I not also reading Adam Grants Think Again at the same timE. I gooD bit if crossover but also very complementary reads. A worthy read.
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