Being Wrong | Granta

  • Published: 02/06/2011
  • ISBN: 9781846273704
  • Granta Books
  • 416 pages

Being Wrong

Kathryn Schulz

Being wrong is an inescapable part of being alive. And yet we go through life tacitly assuming (or loudly insisting) that we are right about nearly everything – from our political beliefs to our private memories, from our grasp of scientific fact to the merits of our favourite team. Being Wrong looks at why this conviction has such a powerful grip on us, what happens when this conviction is shaken, and how we interpret the moral, political and psychological significance of being wrong. Drawing on philosophies old and new and cutting-edge neuroscience, Schulz offers an exploration of the allure of certainty and the necessity of fallibility in four main areas: in religion (when the end of the world fails to be nigh); in politics (where were those WMD?); in memory (where are my keys?); and in love (when Mr or Ms Right becomes Mr or Ms Wrong).

A real find, Schulz's book is a funny and philosophical meditation on why error is mostly a humane, courageous and extremely desirable human trait. She flies high in the intellectual skies, leaving beautiful sunlit contrails. God isn't her co-pilot; Iris Murdoch seems to be

New York Times

A brilliant new manifesto urging us to reassess our relationship with our own mistakes ... Since reading Schulz's book, I have been trying harder to train myself to think systematically about my own mistakes

Johann Hari, Independent

A compelling meditation on the human condition. By combining personal stories with research into learning and memory, Schulz exposes psychological tricks we play on ourselves when we cling to beliefs in the face of evidence

New Scientist

The Author

Kathryn Schulz has written for a number of US publications from Rolling Stone to the New York Times, on subjects as varied as right-wing film festivals to the impact of antidepressant use on Japanese culture. In 2004 she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism. This is her first book.

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