The Mind Club Book Summary - The Mind Club Book explained in key points
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The Mind Club summary

Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray

Who Thinks, What Feels and Why It Matters

3.6 (143 ratings)
12 mins

Brief summary

The Mind Club by Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray is a thought-provoking exploration into the nature of the mind and how it shapes our behavior and beliefs. It challenges traditional views of consciousness and invites readers to rethink their conception of the self and others.

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    The Mind Club
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    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.

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    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.

    The Mind Club Review

    The Mind Club (2016) explores the concept of minds and the implications it has on our everyday lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • This book offers a fascinating exploration of the complex nature of human minds, shedding light on why we think and behave the way we do.
    • Through compelling case studies and research, Wegner and Gray present thought-provoking insights that challenge our assumptions and broaden our understanding of consciousness.
    • With a mix of philosophical inquiry and scientific evidence, the book presents a balanced and comprehensive analysis of the mind, keeping readers engaged and eager to learn more.

    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
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    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.

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    The Mind Club FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Mind Club?

    The Mind Club explores the nature of human consciousness and challenges our assumptions about who or what has a mind.

    How long does it take to read The Mind Club?

    The reading time for The Mind Club depends on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Mind Club a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Mind Club is worth reading as it offers a fascinating exploration of the human mind and our perception of consciousness.

    Who is the author of The Mind Club?

    The author of The Mind Club is Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray.

    What to read after The Mind Club?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Mind Club, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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