, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I recently finished The Enigma of Reason, written by @hugoreasoning and @dansperber. It's about how reasoning evolved in humans.

Here are my notes from the #book.
1/ Their main thesis is that reasoning evolved so that in low-trust social interactions between humans, co-operation could take place.

Social interactions are low trust because each party has an incentive to take the advantage of the unsuspecting one.
2/ So reasoning evolved in order to enable strangers to cooperate.

A person could produce reasons to satisfy his claim while the other could get convinced by it.

With reasons, you don't have to take people on face value. You can being trusting reasons, not them.
3/ With this interactionist approach to reasoning, several findings in psychology become obvious.

Why CONFIRMATION BIAS exists? The one producing reasons will always have a self-serving bias because he will always want to promote his interests and beliefs.
4/ Confirmation bias exists because while thinking of reasons our brain isn't thinking of "true" reasons but reasons that will convince the listener of our beliefs or interests.

The inherent self-serving bias in our thinking is because it never evolved to find truth.

First reasons that come to mind are always the easy ones. Brain wants to preserve resources so it will always try to start with the easiest reason that will convince the listener before investing further in thinking of more reasons.
6/ Why GROUP DISCUSSIONS produce better results than individuals?

Because multitude of reasons emerge in a discussion which aren't available to any individual brain.

Also, a single brain is riddled with self interest bias.
7/ But then why BRAINSTORMING sessions fail?

Because in corporate settings, the primary consideration is not finding good outcomes / ideas but allegiance or social likeness. Enough criticism isn't put up against others and without criticism, ideas don't get polished.
8/ Why SCIENTISTS are able to produce such great reasoning?

Because scientists have to anticipate the harshest criticism their peers could put up with because that is what happens. Science is a group discussion between peers happening at a global scale.
9/ That's all. Hope I did justice to the book :)

I really like the hypothesis and evidence that reasoning evolved in an interactionist context to convince others, and not in intellectual, truth-seeking context.
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