The Extended Mind

By Annie Murphy Paul,

Book cover of The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain

Book description

A New York Times Editors' Choice
A Washington Post Best Nonfiction Book of 2021
A New York Times Notable Book

A bold new book reveals how we can tap the intelligence that exists beyond our brains—in our bodies, our surroundings, and our relationships

Use your head.
 
That’s what we tell…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked The Extended Mind as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I thought I had a fairly strong understanding of how the mind works until I read this book!

I was blown away to learn how our thoughts, feelings, and actions are impacted by our environments, movements, and others.

Not only was it informative, I learned how to change things up immediately so that I’m more in tune with my body and know what I need to do to think more clearly and focused.

Speaking of embodiment, Murphy Paul’s stimulating book provocatively suggests that not only is much of cognition and emotion embodied, but it also extends beyond the body—to our environments, but more importantly to our social others.

The implications of this work are many, but for the topic of conquering monsters the most reassuring message is: we are not alone. We are facing these challenges together. Fascinating, lucid, and relevant read.

This book by a distinguished science writer is a comprehensive survey of huge amounts of research on how our thought depends on objects and things beyond the boundaries of our skull. 

The book has great insights on issues such as the virtue of being outdoors rather than indoors for thought, being in motion rather than stationary, or the use of argument in schools and other places to help with learning.

From Geoff's list on how societies think.

Trial, Error, and Success: 10 Insights into Realistic Knowledge, Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence

By Sima Dimitrijev, PhD, Maryann Karinch,

Book cover of Trial, Error, and Success: 10 Insights into Realistic Knowledge, Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence

Sima Dimitrijev, PhD Author Of Trial, Error, and Success: 10 Insights into Realistic Knowledge, Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

My core value is realistic education—learning from each other’s errors and successes, but with full awareness of the difference between the determined past and the uncertain future. We can benefit from uncertainty, which I’ve been doing for a living as an engineer, academic researcher, and inventor. I make use of knowledge and science as much as possible, but I also know that strategic decisions for the uncertain future require skepticism and thinking to deal with the differences in a new circumstance. With my core value, I am passionate about sharing insights and knowledge that our formal education does not provide.

Sima's book list on realistic knowledge and decision making

What is my book about?

Everything in nature evolves by trial, error, and success—from fundamental physics, through evolution in biology, to how people learn, think, and decide.

This book presents a way of thinking and realistic knowledge that our formal education shuns. Stepping beyond this ignorance, the book shows how to deal with and even benefit from uncertainty by skeptical thinking, strategic decisions, and teamwork based on enlightened self-interests.

This bottom-up thinking is thought-provoking for leaders who wish to build teams rather than herds. The insights in the book will help you to be better prepared for the unexpected, less likely to conform when you…

Trial, Error, and Success: 10 Insights into Realistic Knowledge, Thinking, and Emotional Intelligence

By Sima Dimitrijev, PhD, Maryann Karinch,

What is this book about?

Everything in nature evolves by trial, error, and success. They didn't teach you this in school, even though you should know why the rigid laws of physics don't rule nature and don't inhibit your free-will decisions to try, fail, and succeed. As a guide to success, this book shows how skepticism, prudent use of science, and thinking lead to strategic decisions for the uncertain future.
 
Presenting real-life examples, the thinking in the book combines sharp analyses with broad analogies to show:
 
How to identify realistic knowledge and avoid harm due to overgeneralized concepts. How to create new knowledge and solve…


I can’t stop thinking about this book. The premise: Our brain is a biological, evolved organ that’s very different from a computer. People who can tune into their bodies can more effectively use their brains. Annie cites studies of Wall Street traders who seem to make more money when they’re more “interoceptively” attuned — meaning, when they’re better at reading their own body signals. In other words, when I use my body, my surroundings, and my relationships to “think outside the brain,” I can make better decisions than people who don’t know how to do the same.

As a physician who cares for and studies persons living with diseases that cause a person to “lose their mind,” I find this book to be revelatory. Paul offers a thorough and meticulously documented account of what our mind is and how it exists outside of the borders of our hard heads. The wealth of material that Paul consistently presents with clarity is not about dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but it will provoke you to think about how to live with or care for the extended mind of a person living with dementia.

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