Nothing seems more real than the minds of other people. When you consider what your boss is thinking or whether your spouse is happy, you are admitting them into the “mind club.” It’s easy to assume other humans can think and feel, but what about a cow, a computer, a corporation? What kinds of mind do they have? Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray are award-winning psychologists who have discovered that minds–while incredibly important–are a matter of perception. Their research opens a trove of new findings, with insights into human behavior that are fascinating, frightening and funny. The Mind Club explains why we love some animals and eat others, why people debate the existence of God so intensely, how good people can be so cruel, and why robots make such poor lovers. By investigating the mind perception of extraordinary targets–animals, machines, comatose people, god–Wegner and Gray explain what it means to have a mind, and why it matters so much. Fusing cutting-edge research and personal anecdotes, The Mind Club explores the moral dimensions of mind perception with wit and compassion, revealing the surprisingly simple basis for what compels us to love and hate, to harm and to protect.
“Daniel Wegner was one of psychology’s most creative minds, and Kurt Gray was one of his most creative collaborators. The Mind Club describes their biggest idea together using thought-provoking examples, clever writing, and brilliant experiments. Essential reading for anyone who owns a mind and wants to know how to use it!”—Nicholas Epley, Professor of Behavioral Science, University of Chicago Booth School of Business and author of Mindwise
“Did he intend to cause harm? Did she feel pain and suffer? When it comes to morality—abortion, animal rights, legal culpability—many of the deepest questions boil down to: Does he or she (or even it) have a properly working mind? In lucid prose, Wegner and Gray explore the profound nature and implications of this question—one that is becoming all the more complex as lines of awareness and intent blur in a world where technology is rapidly advancing.”—David DeSteno, author of the Wall Street Journal Spotlight Bestseller Out of Character: Surprising Truths about the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us
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