272 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.8 in
February 12, 2013
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307472256
ISBN - 13: 9780307472250
Read from the Book
Prologue In June 1879, the American philosopher and scientist Charles Sanders Peirce was on a steamship journey from Boston to New York when his gold watch was stolen from his stateroom. Peirce reported the theft and insisted that each member of the ship’s crew line up on deck. He interviewed them all, but got nowhere. Then, after a short walk, he did something odd. He decided to guess who the perpetrator was, even though he had nothing to base his suspicions on, like a poker player going all in with a pair of deuces. As soon as Peirce made his guess, he found himself convinced that he had fingered the right man. “I made a little loop in my walk,” he would later write, “which had not taken a minute, and as I turned -toward them, all shadow of doubt had vanished.” Peirce confidently approached his suspect, but the man called his bluff and denied the accusation. With no evidence or logical reason to back his claim, there was nothing Peirce could do—until the ship docked. When it did, Peirce immediately took a cab to the local Pinkerton office and hired a detective to investigate. The detective found Peirce’s watch at a pawnshop the next day. Peirce asked the proprietor to describe the man who’d pawned it. According to Peirce, the pawnbroker described the suspect “so graphically that no doubt was possible that it had been my man.” Peirce wondered how he had guessed the identity of the thief. He concluded that some kind of instinctual perception had guided him, something operat
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2013 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
Over the past two decades of neurological research, it has become increasingly clear that the way we experience the world--our perception, behavior, memory, and social judgment--is largely driven by the mind's subliminal processes and not by the conscious ones, as we have long believed. As in the bestselling The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, Leonard Mlodinow employs his signature concise, accessible explanations of the most obscure scientific subjects to unravel the complexities of the subliminal mind. In the process he shows the many ways it influences how we misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and business associates; how we misunderstand the reasons for our investment decisions; and how we misremember important events--along the way, changing our view of ourselves and the world around us.
About the Author
Leonard Mlodinow received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute, and now teaches at the California Institute of Technology. His previous books include three New York Times best sellers: War of the Worldviews (with Deepak Chopra), The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), and The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (also a New York Times Notable Book), as well as Feynman’s Rainbow and Euclid’s Window. He also wrote for the television series MacGyver and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
“With great wit and intelligence, Mlodinow takes us on a sweeping tour of this [mental] landscape and the latest revelations in neuroscience.” —The Huffington Post“Mlodinow plunges into the realm of the unconscious mind accompanied by the latest scientific research . . . [with] plenty of his trademark humor.” —Los Angeles Times“Clever [and] engaging. . . . A popular-science beach book, the sort of tome from which cocktail party anecdotes can be mined by the dozen.” —The Oregonian “Fascinating. . . . Shows how the idea of the unconscious has become respectable again.” —The Economist “A must-read book that is both provocative and hugely entertaining.” —Jerry A. Webman, chief economist, OppenheimerFunds, Inc., and author of MoneyShift“Leonard Mlodinow never fails to make science both accessible and entertaining.” —Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time“An assault against the idea that we control our decisions and our beliefs in the way that we think we do . . . . A useful addition to the growing body of work arguing convincingly against the idea of the rational human brain.” —The Daily Beast“Mlodinow thinks in equations but explains in anecdote, simile, and occasional bursts of neon. . . . The results are mind-bending.” —Fortune “Mlodinow argues his case persuasively and with humor.” —The Montreal Gazette“In a loose, easygoing style, Mlodinow combines numerous accounts of scientific studies with pop-culture references and even personal anecdote