Psychology: Conscious Mental Processes and Intelligence


153. Under Philosophy and Psychology (Chapter 4 in Library Lin’s Curated Collection of Superlative Nonfiction), these three books are under Further Reading in section 153. This section covers books on conscious mental processes and intelligence.

Further reading

Daniel DeNicola Understanding Ignorance: The Surprising Impact of What We Don’t Know, 2017.

Philosophy professor Daniel DeNicola discusses the nature of ignorance. In an age when ignorance is not only excused but sometimes defended, even celebrated, it’s disturbing to consider the consequences for society. While fake news and a lack of knowledge can have negative effects, DeNicola argues that there may be a legitimate place for ignorance in our world.  A grounding in philosophy can help you understand the concepts he covers. But don’t let that stop you from exploring his ideas on this important topic.


Steven Pinker How the Mind Works, 1997.

The concept of “mind” is a staggering topic to contemplate. Is our mind solely made up of our brains? Tackling the subject might seem arrogant coming from anyone but a top cognitive scientist. Steven Pinker looks at what the research was telling us about our minds with a clear-eyed gaze. The book was updated in 2009 to include the most recent developments in the field. While by now, neuroscience has made many new discoveries, this book would be helpful for any wanting an overview of the topic.


Carl Sagan The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence, 1977.

Infectiously enthusiastic astronomer Carl Sagan (1934-1996) takes us on a journey through the development of our intelligence and its implications for finding meaning. Using anthropology and evolutionary biology as the background, Sagan helps you understand the magnitude and the wonder of our conscious minds. One of the first popular science books I’d ever read at the time, this book made a Sagan fan of me.

For more information about my blog and the Further Reading series see Further Reading: Start Here.

Do you have any favorite books about conscious mental processes or intelligence? Share them below!


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