Being wrong is an inescapable part of being alive. And yet, we go through life tacitly assuming (or loudly insisting) that we are right about nearly everything - from our political beliefs to our private memories, from our grasp of scientific fact to the merits of our favourite team. Being Wrong looks at why this conviction has such a powerful ...
Being wrong is an inescapable part of being alive. And yet, we go through life tacitly assuming (or loudly insisting) that we are right about nearly everything - from our political beliefs to our private memories, from our grasp of scientific fact to the merits of our favourite team. Being Wrong looks at why this conviction has such a powerful grip on us, what happens when this conviction is shaken, and how we interpret the moral, political and psychological significance of being wrong.Drawing on philosophies old and new and cutting-edge neuroscience, Kathryn Schulz offers an eloquent exploration of the allure of certainty and the necessity of fallibility in four main areas: in religion (when the end of the world fails to be nigh); in politics (where were those WMD?); in memory (where did I leave my keys?); and in love (when Mr or Miss Right becomes Mr or Miss Wrong).
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Publishers Weekly, 2010-03-22 In the spirit of Blink and Predictably Irrational (but with a large helping of erudition), journalist Schulz casts a fresh and irreverent eye upon the profound meanings behind our most ordinary behaviors-in this instance, how we make mistakes, how we behave when we find we have been wrong, and how our errors change us. "[I]t is ultimately wrongness, not rightness, that can teach us who we are," she asserts. Schulz writes with such lucidity and wit that her philosophical enquiry becomes a page-turner. She deftly incorporates Wittgenstein, Descartes, and Freud, along with an array of contemporary social scientists and even a spin with Shakespeare and Keats. There's heavy stuff here, but no heavy-handedness. Being wrong encompasses the cataclysmic (economic collapse) and the commonplace (leaving a "laptop in front of the window before the storm"). Being wrong may lead to fun (playing with and understanding optical illusions) or futility (the Millerite expectation of the Rapture in 1844). Being wrong can be transformative, and Schultz writes, "I encourage us to see error as a gift in itself, a rich and irreplaceable source of humor, art, illumination, individuality, and change"-an apt description of her engrossing study. (June) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
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