Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind

Princeton University Press
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We're all hypocrites. Why? Hypocrisy is the natural state of the human mind.

Robert Kurzban shows us that the key to understanding our behavioral inconsistencies lies in understanding the mind's design. The human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of evolution by natural selection. While these modules sometimes work together seamlessly, they don't always, resulting in impossibly contradictory beliefs, vacillations between patience and impulsiveness, violations of our supposed moral principles, and overinflated views of ourselves.


This modular, evolutionary psychological view of the mind undermines deeply held intuitions about ourselves, as well as a range of scientific theories that require a "self" with consistent beliefs and preferences. Modularity suggests that there is no "I." Instead, each of us is a contentious "we"--a collection of discrete but interacting systems whose constant conflicts shape our interactions with one another and our experience of the world.


In clear language, full of wit and rich in examples, Kurzban explains the roots and implications of our inconsistent minds, and why it is perfectly natural to believe that everyone else is a hypocrite.

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About the author

Robert Kurzban is associate professor of psychology and founder of the Pennsylvania Laboratory for Experimental Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2008, he won the inaugural Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution from the Human Behavior and Evolution Society.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jan 3, 2011
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781400835997
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Psychology / General
Psychology / Personality
Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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