On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not
You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You “know” the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001–you know these things, well, because you just do.
In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton shows that feeling certain―feeling that we know something— is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact. An increasing body of evidence suggests that feelings such as certainty stem from primitive areas of the brain and are independent of active, conscious reflection and reasoning. In other words, the feeling of knowing happens to us; we cannot make it happen.
Bringing together cutting-edge neuroscience, experimental data, and fascinating anecdotes, Robert Burton explores the inconsistent and sometimes paradoxical relationship between our thoughts and what we actually know. Provocative and groundbreaking, On Being Certain challenges what we know (or think we know) about the mind, knowledge, and reason.
About Robert A. Burton M.D.
Robert Burton, M.D. graduated from Yale University and University of California at San Francisco medical school, where he also completed his neurology residency. At age 33, he was appointed chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital, where he subsequently became Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. His non-neurology writing career includes three critically acclaimed novels. He is the author of On Being Certain and A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind. He lives in Sausalito, California.
- Publisher : St. Martin’s Griffin; Reprint edition (March 17, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780312541521
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312541521
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.55 x 1.05 x 8.2 inches