Books et al.COGNITIVE SCIENCE

Faulty logic

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Science  12 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6338, pp. 589
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan1237

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Summary

Evidence suggests that when asked to evaluate others' argu­ments, people often do a rea­sonably good job of separating cogent positions from nonsense. However, we do dramatically less well at evaluating our own arguments, and this asymmetry is at the heart of Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber's The Enigma of Reason. By surveying many of the most compelling experimental findings from the past 40 years of reason­ing research, Mercier and Sperber argue that cognitive biases are likely evolutionary conse­quences of what our reasoning was optimized to do.