Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds

Front Cover
Wiley, Nov 18, 1996 - Psychology - 256 pages
6 Reviews
"Fascinating and insightful. . . . I cannot recall a book that has made me think more about the nature of thinking." -- Richard C. Lewontin

Harvard University

Everyone knows that optical illusions trick us because of the way we see. Now scientists have discovered that cognitive illusions, a set of biases deeply embedded in the human mind, can actually distort the way we think.

In Inevitable Illusions, distinguished cognitive researcher Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini takes us on a provocative, challenging, and thoroughly entertaining exploration of the games our minds play. He opens the doors onto the newly charted realm of the cognitive unconscious to reveal the full range of illusions, showing how they inhibit our ability to reason--no matter what our educational background or IQ. Inevitable Illusions is stimulating, eye-opening food for thought.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds

User Review  - Rich - Goodreads

My first-ever foray into the world of cognitive psychology. I've read the book every year since it was published nearly 20 years ago: its messages are as thought-provoking - and perhaps just as ... Read full review

Review: Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds

User Review  - Robert - Goodreads

I enjoyed this book as a quick refresher, though Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" was much better. I have to knock down one star when I consider that there is a rushed quality to the book, and that this quality degrades clarity and precision on a topic that calls for it. Read full review


Cognitive Illusions
Calculating the Unknown

6 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1996)

MASSIMO PIATTELLI-PALMARINI, Ph.D., is a Principal Research Associate of the Center for Cognitive Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Director of the Department of Cognitive Science at the Institute of San Raffaele in Milan, Italy. His books The Will to Study and the Italian edition of Inevitable Illusions were international bestsellers.

Bibliographic information