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The Case Against Reality

Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes
Written by: Donald Hoffman
Narrated by: Timothy Andrés Pabon
Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
4 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Can we trust our senses to tell us the truth?

Challenging leading scientific theories that claim that our senses report back objective reality, cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman argues that while we should take our perceptions seriously, we should not take them literally. How can it be possible that the world we see is not objective reality? And how can our senses be useful if they are not communicating the truth? Hoffman grapples with these questions and more over the course of this eye-opening work.

Ever since Homo sapiens has walked the earth, natural selection has favored perception that hides the truth and guides us toward useful action, shaping our senses to keep us alive and reproducing. We observe a speeding car and do not walk in front of it; we see mold growing on bread and do not eat it. These impressions, though, are not objective reality. Just like a file icon on a desktop screen is a useful symbol rather than a genuine representation of what a computer file looks like, the objects we see every day are merely icons, allowing us to navigate the world safely and with ease.

The real-world implications for this discovery are huge. From examining why fashion designers create clothes that give the illusion of a more “attractive” body shape to studying how companies use color to elicit specific emotions in consumers, and even dismantling the very notion that spacetime is objective reality, The Case Against Reality dares us to question everything we thought we knew about the world we see.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 by Donald Hoffman. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Accompanying PDF?

It's missing from the audiobook and detracting a great deal from the content since there is a lot of reference to graphs in the book.

4 people found this helpful

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The life line of science to a understanding of god

Just when it looked like science is dead and nothing but a tool in the toolbox. Along comes Donald Hoffman and takes on the most important questions that only Religion had answers to.
Watch out Religion what will you do when science finds the soul or even god?

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Going to buy the paper copy to study more

amazing. absolutely fascinating. Hoffman is honest and rigorous. this has the makings of being as big a deal as when discovered earth is not the center of the universe. part scientific paper, part pop-sci

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  • Qme
  • 2019-10-22

Wants to prove 'The Matrix' is true.

I dont knkw where the idea for the book came from but my guess is the matrix hugely contributed to it. The main basis from which the whole argument is based on is Darwin's theory of evolution. Of course I'm simplifying but this is what it is. Anyone who has knowledge of Darwin's theory and knowledge of epigenetics will very quickly spot the holes in the argument. However a good listen that may raise some questions. Without questions there's no answer, so may be good for that purpose.

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  • Will Lee
  • 2019-09-10

“The accompanying pdf”

I like this book but the author has many references that would probably make this book a good bit easier to understand, but I listen to E-books while running or driving so this is not preferable to me. I really like the concept of this book, and books in this category. The beginning was a bit slow and somewhat redundant but it laid the foundations for understanding of the rest of the book pretty well so it’s all good. The middle/end of the book was great though and made it all worth the read!

16 people found this helpful

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  • JuRai
  • 2019-09-21

not an audiobook

there are so many visual components that you lose a huge, HUGE portion of the book by listening rather than reading. very disappointed.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Richard Pickett
  • 2019-08-26

Don't buy - visual examples missing, no pdf

The ideas Hoffman present in the book are expansive and very interesting.

However, contrary to the opening statement in the introduction, Audible doesn't have the downloadable pdf, nor can they get it.

The original publisher (Brilliance Audio via Tantor Media) says there is no accompanying pdf.

Further, Donald Hoffman doesn't respond on social media to requests for the download, although he's certainly busy making posts promoting the book.

I recommend purchasing the kindle or physical copy.

55 people found this helpful

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  • Radek
  • 2019-08-20

I expected to hear about guirks of human perception, but got so much more.

Yes, you’ll learn about what, how and why we perceive the world, but this book is so much more: „The Case Against Reality” goes into epistemological and onthological territory so deep and convincing, that I had to revise my views on myself and the world. Sometimes hard and complicated, it needs a lot of focus and attention on your part, but you’ll find out a great deal about evolution, quantum mechanics, the inner lives of famous thinkers and consciousness. No previous physics and philosophy training needed, although it casts a new light on the history of both. Oh, and Mr. Timothy Andrés Pabon does a great job interpreting it for audio. Truly amazing stuff.

14 people found this helpful

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  • kalyan
  • 2019-08-19

Take the red pill and be lost in the rabbit hole

Mysticism meets Science, Consciousness clashes with reality. I have not read a book that challenged my view of reality for a long time. There are lot of scientific facts that the author used to make his points and some places it was a little dry but i guess it is essential for the book. It is high time for the scientific world to look for a new approach to explain our reality or the lack of it. A must read for anyone who is interested in science, philosophy and psychology because this book actually brings elements from wide variety of disciplines to make a point which i think should not be ignored by anyone.Like any good book on science, it makes us think of more questions than it answers.

And behold there is a mathematical equation for a conscious agent !!!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-11-22

Real problem with the missing PDF

Real problem with the missing PDF So you can't refer to the images but otherwise maybe the best book I've read

6 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 2019-10-08

One Idea, No PDF

Firstly there are many examples used in the book which are difficult to understand without the promised PDF which is not there, and I was unable to find elsewhere.

The one idea presented is that there is no good reason to believe our senses' perceptions of reality closely match the actual underlying reality. With this, I totally agree. Hoffman discusses a proof of this based upon evolutionary psychology. He does not present the proof, let alone prove it. Anyway, to me, it does not matter, as I feel it is somewhat self evident, as Einstein pointed out, that reality is an illusion.

If you have any doubts about this idea, it is possible this book might be useful to help see the truth of this.

Near the end, one begins to suspect that there is a subtle pseudo-religious subtext to the book.1

9 people found this helpful

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  • Sean
  • 2019-10-01

Over-egging a mediocre topic

I love evolutionary psychology but the author really tries to over exaggerate what are interesting quirks into some sort of grand theory of quantum physics. I think he is hopelessly muddled in term of in which field he is supposed to be an expert. Some interesting ideas though that would make for a pleasant read if he didn’t overreach.

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  • Martin Hilbert
  • 2020-01-13

no visual pdf!

It says that there's an accompanying pdf for the visuals, but there is not. This is not the author's fault, but Audible... please add a pdf. Otherwise the value is very limited

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  • Alon Marcus
  • 2019-11-02

Missing promissed PDF

The audio repeatedly refers to accompanied PDF but audible does not provide it and its needed to follow the book closely. I am also afraid the author blames the lack of current full understanding of brain consciousness connections as support for his speculations while doing the same error of logic...not this/yet therefore that......

1 person found this helpful