The Mind Club Book Summary - The Mind Club Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Mind Club summary

Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray

Who Thinks, What Feels and Why It Matters

3.6 (139 ratings)
12 mins
Table of Contents

    The Mind Club
    Summary of 5 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 5

    Minds are defined by two traits – but not all minds act the same way.

    You’re part of a special club and you might not even know it. Chances are your neighbor and cat are as well, but your smartphone isn’t – at least not yet. This club is called the Mind Club, and it’s the group of all creatures considered to have a mind.

    So, who qualifies?

    Well, the authors conducted several studies in which participants were asked about the mental characteristics of various beings: a robot, a CEO, a family dog, a dead person and so on. They found that people generally attribute a mind to beings with two specific traits.

    The first is agency, or the ability to think, act in a planned manner and control oneself. The second is the ability to experience emotions like happiness, to be conscious and to feel physical sensations, like hunger.

    It’s that simple; if someone has these abilities, they’re in the Mind Club. But once in the Mind Club, people can be characterized by the relative strength of their agency and experience.

    For instance, if you’re primarily characterized by your propensity for rational action, then you fit into the group of thinking doers. A prime example of this group are the CEOs of big corporations; they are generally considered to be thinking doers since they wield lots of power and have engaged in loads of planned action to get to where they are.

    On the other side of the spectrum are the vulnerable feelers, those who primarily feel and experience, but are less apt when it comes to effective action.

    Babies belong in this category. If they’re threatened and experience fear, they can’t plan to defend themselves and, therefore, their only response is to cry.

    But these types aren’t immutable. A CEO could turn into a vulnerable feeler if, say, an illness rendered him entirely helpless.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Mind Club?

    Key ideas in The Mind Club

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Mind Club about?

    The Mind Club (2016) is all about how we perceive beings as having a mind or not, and how this determination affects our moral judgments. These blinks explain what constitutes a mind as well as how and why we perceive minds the way we do.

    Best quote from The Mind Club

    A mind is not an objective fact as much as it is a gift given by the person who perceives it.

    —Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray
    example alt text

    Who should read The Mind Club?

    • Psychologists, philosophers and scientists
    • Students of philosophy or neuroscience
    • Anyone interested in the field of ethics and the justification of brutal acts

    About the Author

    Daniel M. Wegner was an eminent psychologist, author of The Illusion of Conscious Will and recipient of, among many other awards, the 2011 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association.

    Kurt Gray is a psychologist and a former student of Wegner’s. He has written various essays and op-eds, including “The Myth of the Harmless Wrong” for The New York Times.

    Categories with The Mind Club

    Books like The Mind Club

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial