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The Mind is Flat: The Illusion of Mental Depth and The Improvised Mind
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The Mind is Flat: The Illusion of Mental Depth and The Improvised Mind

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A radical reinterpretation of how your mind works - and why it could change your life

'An astonishing achievement. Nick Chater has blown my mind' Tim Harford

'A total assault on all lingering psychiatric and psychoanalytic notions of mental depths ... Light the touchpaper and stand well back' New Scientist

We all like to think we have a hidden inner life. Most of us assume t
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 29th 2018 by Allen Lane
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Ramón Nogueras Pérez
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Este puede ser uno de los libros más importantes del siglo XXI en el mundo de la psicología.

El autor lleva más allá las ideas de Daniel Dennett sobre la consciencia y acumula una gran cantidad de pruebas que muestran que el inconsciente tal y como lo concebimos, simplemente no existe. No hay profundidades ocultas que podemos sacar a la luz. El cerebro piensa una cosa cada vez, en un constante esfuerzo por dar significado a los estímulos del entorno. Todo es percepción y memoria. No hay más, y es
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Alla Vovk
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good for: rethinking perception if you know little about it

After finishing this book I had an impression that I am living a life of a fictional character in a fictional world. My body is nothing else but a signal processing system, striving cycle by cycle to impose meaning of sensory input. The meaningful interpretations are concsious-yielding a world of patterns, object, colours, voices, world, letters, faces, and more. But this was not new to me. Much of his book echoes with the "no-self" view
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Laura Spira
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Tim Harford raved about this book so I had high expectations but I was disappointed.

For a start it's not very well written and rather repetitive (and poorly copy-edited with a clutch of typos). I found the idea that my mind has no depth, and that my brain is constantly hoaxing me that it does, rather disturbing to start with but as I didn't find the argument entirely convincing my initial epistemological insecurity disappeared.

Chater has amassed a great deal of authoritative looking scientific
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Emmy Gregory
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting message. Interesting science. Annoyed by how many times each point was repeated though.
Rafaël Garcia-Suarez
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cognition
Mind blown, literally. This book presents an amazingly consistent and counter-intuitive theory of consciousness, rigorously grounded in psychological experiments and neuroscience. Now I am not sure that I agree with every assertion of the author – there are definitively things that sound right, but I have the impression that some pieces are missing, or quickly glossed over. Anyhow, that was a very intellectually stimulating read.
Daniil Lanovyi
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Blunt. Declarative. A statement of a book. Much needed statement. Most importantly because that book touches and crashes the conviction of some that our beliefs are stable, persistent, even unchangeable. That extremely harmful myth should be long abolished. A mind is the most flexible concept that lives in a state of continuous change.

Especially in a modern world, with the ever-increasing pace of progress, we should remind ourselves often about the flexibility, a real superpower of our minds. B
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Douglas Greenshields
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
This might transpire to be a successful application letter to give TED talks, but it's ultimately disappointingly vapid. It isn't so much that the assertions here, so far as they go, are incorrect - but the writing is boring in the same way atheistic treatises are boring. Everything is "remarkable", everything "turns out" to be the case as a result of the extrapolation of hand-picked studies. There are so many omissions to the story painted - for one, the writer seems to imagine a homogenous hum ...more
Alec Newman
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is about how the way our cognition and perception actually work is much different than common sense has led us to believe.

How we tend to think of our perception and cognition: we can see and appreciate our entire visual field at once, in color, in relative detail; we can think in terms of abstract concepts; we can be aware of multiple things at once, and multitask; we can introspect how we arrived at an answer, or the motivations and belief systems behind our actions; we can imagine th
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Teo 2050
<4h @ 2x. Contents:
(view spoiler)
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Max Stone
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall I very much enjoyed the book.

The basic theme is the subtitle: our brains are experts are stitching things together to create the illusion of more depth of knowledge than there really is, but really there isn't anything roiling beneath the surface; there is just the interpretations that we put on things.

I thought the chapters on perception were particularly strong; there were a lot of studies cited that I felt did a good job of conveying that one understands way less, and sees way less,
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Adam Osth
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cognitive science book with the thesis that many aspects of the mind, from emotion, memory, language, and even personality, and are not from any kind of "inner depths" but instead constructions in the moment. I've read some of Nick Chater's scientific articles so I'm not surprised to see a lot of compelling experimental results in favor of this idea, but was quite pleasantly surprised to see that he writes *beautifully*.

My only criticisms are the fact that it gets a bit redundant with how much h
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Sarah Wilson
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
The illusion is .. that this book has any depth. To be fair., though, if you haven't read much (any) psychology this would be a good way to get introduced into a truly fascinating subject - the human mind. This is not a text book, but it does take the reader through a series of fairly well-known texts to support his argument. But, if you've read "Thinking, Fast and Slow" you probably won't get much new out of it. I was recommended the book by an economist that had rated it very highly. I am not ...more
ger
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A well thought out and researched book on the nature of the human mind. I had come across lots of the examples before but I think this is an important book in putting forward an alternative and in my view quite plausible theory of how we exist. The mind is flat in that we have no 'Unconscious ' in the way we usually think about it. We are only aware of the output of our minds and completely oblivious to the workings that precede that output. This does not make us somehow less as beings but rathe ...more
Piotr
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best
Establishes the most plausible glimpse of the mind model I've read so far.
Reverses the idea of free will by a realisation that the consciousness experiences the world and decision making after-the-fact and only provides explanation.
Rohan
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant read - wonderfully written and accessible.
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“No amount of therapy, dream analysis, word association, experiment or brain-scanning can recover a person’s ‘true motives’, not because they are difficult to find, but because there is nothing to find. It is not hard to plumb our mental depths because they are so deep and so murky, but because there are no mental depths to plumb.” 0 likes
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