On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not

On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not

You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You "know" the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001--you know these things, well, because you just do. In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of ce You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You "know" the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had...

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Title:On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not
Author:Robert A. Burton
Rating:
Genres:Psychology
ISBN:On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:272 pages pages

On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not Reviews

  • Lena
    Feb 28, 2008

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

  • Tucker
    Dec 26, 2011

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

  • Brendan
    Jun 20, 2011

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

  • Eva
    Jun 15, 2009

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

  • Constance
    Apr 09, 2009

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

    Subtitle: "Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not". Burton's book takes on the whole phenomenon of "I just know, that's all", that feeling of knowing you're right about something. He is associate chief of the Department of Neurosciences at Mt. Zion - UCSF Hospital. When he speaks...

    Do you know that feeling of being certain about something? Having a hunch? Having something no the tip of your tongue? Imagine a world without that feeling at all. Everything is a purely reason driven cost/benefit analysis. Do emotions or intuitive emotions driving you to make a decisi...

    I liked it even though there was a lot I disagreed with. Burton shows how tenuos our knowledge is , but he glossed over one of his stated goals, to clearly distinguish scientific knowledge from other kinds of knowledge. His excerpts from Darwin's autobiography made the point, but he se...

    This book really triggered a lot of thoughts. I don't agree with every point the author makes, but I do appreciate the constant barrage of ideas that forced me to think and re-think brain mechanisms and "how I know what I know" -type questions. A couple of things I took away from this ...

    Within the realms of neuroscience and philosophy, it is often stated that it is impossible for us to be certain about anything. If that is true, then it is impossible that these scientists and philosophers can be certain that this is true otherwise they commit the fallacy of self-exclu...

    An area of deep interest to me is the nature of strongly held belief. Understanding how we come to know we're right and that others are wrong speaks to some very human impulses. It may also hold the key to moving beyond our current fixation with red state, blue state, conservative, pro...

    There are some interesting ideas in this book, all of which can be summarized as follows: The feeling of knowing or meaning is a sensation of the brain that serves an evolutionary function and that is often unrelated to external, objective, rational factors (similar to, as I told M., t...

  • Cliff
    Oct 19, 2009

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

  • Igor
    Oct 15, 2009

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

    Subtitle: "Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not". Burton's book takes on the whole phenomenon of "I just know, that's all", that feeling of knowing you're right about something. He is associate chief of the Department of Neurosciences at Mt. Zion - UCSF Hospital. When he speaks...

    Do you know that feeling of being certain about something? Having a hunch? Having something no the tip of your tongue? Imagine a world without that feeling at all. Everything is a purely reason driven cost/benefit analysis. Do emotions or intuitive emotions driving you to make a decisi...

  • Andrew
    Aug 13, 2009

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

  • Richard
    Sep 23, 2009

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

  • Katherine
    May 22, 2010

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

    Subtitle: "Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not". Burton's book takes on the whole phenomenon of "I just know, that's all", that feeling of knowing you're right about something. He is associate chief of the Department of Neurosciences at Mt. Zion - UCSF Hospital. When he speaks...

    Do you know that feeling of being certain about something? Having a hunch? Having something no the tip of your tongue? Imagine a world without that feeling at all. Everything is a purely reason driven cost/benefit analysis. Do emotions or intuitive emotions driving you to make a decisi...

    I liked it even though there was a lot I disagreed with. Burton shows how tenuos our knowledge is , but he glossed over one of his stated goals, to clearly distinguish scientific knowledge from other kinds of knowledge. His excerpts from Darwin's autobiography made the point, but he se...

    This book really triggered a lot of thoughts. I don't agree with every point the author makes, but I do appreciate the constant barrage of ideas that forced me to think and re-think brain mechanisms and "how I know what I know" -type questions. A couple of things I took away from this ...

    Within the realms of neuroscience and philosophy, it is often stated that it is impossible for us to be certain about anything. If that is true, then it is impossible that these scientists and philosophers can be certain that this is true otherwise they commit the fallacy of self-exclu...

    An area of deep interest to me is the nature of strongly held belief. Understanding how we come to know we're right and that others are wrong speaks to some very human impulses. It may also hold the key to moving beyond our current fixation with red state, blue state, conservative, pro...

    There are some interesting ideas in this book, all of which can be summarized as follows: The feeling of knowing or meaning is a sensation of the brain that serves an evolutionary function and that is often unrelated to external, objective, rational factors (similar to, as I told M., t...

    This was a wonderful read. It addresses certainty, doubt, knowledge, knowing, epistemology, neuroscience, psychology and more. How do we know what we know and what does it mean to be certain. Can science give us certainty, can faith? Great questions to ponder through out this book. ...

    I very much enjoyed On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not. Robert Burton?s ideas, theories and meditations on the ways in which we become certain of what we ?know? provide an interesting insight into how our brains receive and process information. I did f...

  • Kevin
    Jun 07, 2009

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

  • Jacob J
    May 17, 2009

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

  • Lynn
    Aug 27, 2009

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

    Subtitle: "Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not". Burton's book takes on the whole phenomenon of "I just know, that's all", that feeling of knowing you're right about something. He is associate chief of the Department of Neurosciences at Mt. Zion - UCSF Hospital. When he speaks...

    Do you know that feeling of being certain about something? Having a hunch? Having something no the tip of your tongue? Imagine a world without that feeling at all. Everything is a purely reason driven cost/benefit analysis. Do emotions or intuitive emotions driving you to make a decisi...

    I liked it even though there was a lot I disagreed with. Burton shows how tenuos our knowledge is , but he glossed over one of his stated goals, to clearly distinguish scientific knowledge from other kinds of knowledge. His excerpts from Darwin's autobiography made the point, but he se...

  • Joe
    Jun 22, 2010

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

  • Popup-ch
    Feb 06, 2015

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

  • David Bradley
    Mar 11, 2011

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

    Subtitle: "Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not". Burton's book takes on the whole phenomenon of "I just know, that's all", that feeling of knowing you're right about something. He is associate chief of the Department of Neurosciences at Mt. Zion - UCSF Hospital. When he speaks...

    Do you know that feeling of being certain about something? Having a hunch? Having something no the tip of your tongue? Imagine a world without that feeling at all. Everything is a purely reason driven cost/benefit analysis. Do emotions or intuitive emotions driving you to make a decisi...

    I liked it even though there was a lot I disagreed with. Burton shows how tenuos our knowledge is , but he glossed over one of his stated goals, to clearly distinguish scientific knowledge from other kinds of knowledge. His excerpts from Darwin's autobiography made the point, but he se...

    This book really triggered a lot of thoughts. I don't agree with every point the author makes, but I do appreciate the constant barrage of ideas that forced me to think and re-think brain mechanisms and "how I know what I know" -type questions. A couple of things I took away from this ...

    Within the realms of neuroscience and philosophy, it is often stated that it is impossible for us to be certain about anything. If that is true, then it is impossible that these scientists and philosophers can be certain that this is true otherwise they commit the fallacy of self-exclu...

    An area of deep interest to me is the nature of strongly held belief. Understanding how we come to know we're right and that others are wrong speaks to some very human impulses. It may also hold the key to moving beyond our current fixation with red state, blue state, conservative, pro...

    There are some interesting ideas in this book, all of which can be summarized as follows: The feeling of knowing or meaning is a sensation of the brain that serves an evolutionary function and that is often unrelated to external, objective, rational factors (similar to, as I told M., t...

    This was a wonderful read. It addresses certainty, doubt, knowledge, knowing, epistemology, neuroscience, psychology and more. How do we know what we know and what does it mean to be certain. Can science give us certainty, can faith? Great questions to ponder through out this book. ...

    I very much enjoyed On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not. Robert Burton?s ideas, theories and meditations on the ways in which we become certain of what we ?know? provide an interesting insight into how our brains receive and process information. I did f...

    YAWN. This book could have been presented in the length of a blog post, not a full-length book. The central point of the book -- that the feeling of certainty is separate from the content of that certainty -- is very well-taken, though, and for that reason it gets 2 stars. It's a deep ...

  • Andru Aesthetik
    Mar 31, 2011

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

    Subtitle: "Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not". Burton's book takes on the whole phenomenon of "I just know, that's all", that feeling of knowing you're right about something. He is associate chief of the Department of Neurosciences at Mt. Zion - UCSF Hospital. When he speaks...

    Do you know that feeling of being certain about something? Having a hunch? Having something no the tip of your tongue? Imagine a world without that feeling at all. Everything is a purely reason driven cost/benefit analysis. Do emotions or intuitive emotions driving you to make a decisi...

    I liked it even though there was a lot I disagreed with. Burton shows how tenuos our knowledge is , but he glossed over one of his stated goals, to clearly distinguish scientific knowledge from other kinds of knowledge. His excerpts from Darwin's autobiography made the point, but he se...

    This book really triggered a lot of thoughts. I don't agree with every point the author makes, but I do appreciate the constant barrage of ideas that forced me to think and re-think brain mechanisms and "how I know what I know" -type questions. A couple of things I took away from this ...

    Within the realms of neuroscience and philosophy, it is often stated that it is impossible for us to be certain about anything. If that is true, then it is impossible that these scientists and philosophers can be certain that this is true otherwise they commit the fallacy of self-exclu...

  • Traci
    Sep 05, 2017

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

  • Clark Hays
    Jan 23, 2016

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

  • Erikka
    Jan 14, 2016

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

  • Michael Brady
    Aug 03, 2012

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

    Subtitle: "Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not". Burton's book takes on the whole phenomenon of "I just know, that's all", that feeling of knowing you're right about something. He is associate chief of the Department of Neurosciences at Mt. Zion - UCSF Hospital. When he speaks...

    Do you know that feeling of being certain about something? Having a hunch? Having something no the tip of your tongue? Imagine a world without that feeling at all. Everything is a purely reason driven cost/benefit analysis. Do emotions or intuitive emotions driving you to make a decisi...

    I liked it even though there was a lot I disagreed with. Burton shows how tenuos our knowledge is , but he glossed over one of his stated goals, to clearly distinguish scientific knowledge from other kinds of knowledge. His excerpts from Darwin's autobiography made the point, but he se...

    This book really triggered a lot of thoughts. I don't agree with every point the author makes, but I do appreciate the constant barrage of ideas that forced me to think and re-think brain mechanisms and "how I know what I know" -type questions. A couple of things I took away from this ...

    Within the realms of neuroscience and philosophy, it is often stated that it is impossible for us to be certain about anything. If that is true, then it is impossible that these scientists and philosophers can be certain that this is true otherwise they commit the fallacy of self-exclu...

    An area of deep interest to me is the nature of strongly held belief. Understanding how we come to know we're right and that others are wrong speaks to some very human impulses. It may also hold the key to moving beyond our current fixation with red state, blue state, conservative, pro...

  • Georgina Lara
    Aug 30, 2017

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

  • Nicholas Moryl
    Feb 03, 2016

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

  • عبدالرحمن عقاب
    Feb 03, 2014

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

  • Nik
    Apr 30, 2013

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

    Subtitle: "Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not". Burton's book takes on the whole phenomenon of "I just know, that's all", that feeling of knowing you're right about something. He is associate chief of the Department of Neurosciences at Mt. Zion - UCSF Hospital. When he speaks...

    Do you know that feeling of being certain about something? Having a hunch? Having something no the tip of your tongue? Imagine a world without that feeling at all. Everything is a purely reason driven cost/benefit analysis. Do emotions or intuitive emotions driving you to make a decisi...

    I liked it even though there was a lot I disagreed with. Burton shows how tenuos our knowledge is , but he glossed over one of his stated goals, to clearly distinguish scientific knowledge from other kinds of knowledge. His excerpts from Darwin's autobiography made the point, but he se...

    This book really triggered a lot of thoughts. I don't agree with every point the author makes, but I do appreciate the constant barrage of ideas that forced me to think and re-think brain mechanisms and "how I know what I know" -type questions. A couple of things I took away from this ...

    Within the realms of neuroscience and philosophy, it is often stated that it is impossible for us to be certain about anything. If that is true, then it is impossible that these scientists and philosophers can be certain that this is true otherwise they commit the fallacy of self-exclu...

    An area of deep interest to me is the nature of strongly held belief. Understanding how we come to know we're right and that others are wrong speaks to some very human impulses. It may also hold the key to moving beyond our current fixation with red state, blue state, conservative, pro...

    There are some interesting ideas in this book, all of which can be summarized as follows: The feeling of knowing or meaning is a sensation of the brain that serves an evolutionary function and that is often unrelated to external, objective, rational factors (similar to, as I told M., t...

    This was a wonderful read. It addresses certainty, doubt, knowledge, knowing, epistemology, neuroscience, psychology and more. How do we know what we know and what does it mean to be certain. Can science give us certainty, can faith? Great questions to ponder through out this book. ...

  • Jason Meinig
    Oct 26, 2013

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

    Subtitle: "Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not". Burton's book takes on the whole phenomenon of "I just know, that's all", that feeling of knowing you're right about something. He is associate chief of the Department of Neurosciences at Mt. Zion - UCSF Hospital. When he speaks...

    Do you know that feeling of being certain about something? Having a hunch? Having something no the tip of your tongue? Imagine a world without that feeling at all. Everything is a purely reason driven cost/benefit analysis. Do emotions or intuitive emotions driving you to make a decisi...

    I liked it even though there was a lot I disagreed with. Burton shows how tenuos our knowledge is , but he glossed over one of his stated goals, to clearly distinguish scientific knowledge from other kinds of knowledge. His excerpts from Darwin's autobiography made the point, but he se...

    This book really triggered a lot of thoughts. I don't agree with every point the author makes, but I do appreciate the constant barrage of ideas that forced me to think and re-think brain mechanisms and "how I know what I know" -type questions. A couple of things I took away from this ...

  • Rossdavidh
    May 28, 2015

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

    I live my life with more doubts than certainties, and after reading this book I bet this will be even more common. The number one lesson for me was that your "feeling" of certainty can work against you if it keeps you away from curiosity and deeper knowledge. ...

    This book took me a long time to read because I borrowed it from the library and couldn't renew it, so I had to return it and then borrow it again. Even so, it was worth it. Burton, an acclaimed neurologist, asks what's going on in our brains when we believe we know something (he calls...

    ?Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations ?? ??always darker, emptier, simpler than these.? -- Nietzsche (quoted in the book) Certainty ? that unmistakable feeling of ?rightness? ? is a tricky concept, existing in the shadowy borderlands between a self-gener...

    Subtitle: "Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not". Burton's book takes on the whole phenomenon of "I just know, that's all", that feeling of knowing you're right about something. He is associate chief of the Department of Neurosciences at Mt. Zion - UCSF Hospital. When he speaks...

  • Will Simpson
    Mar 17, 2017

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

    On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton, MD "The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations tha...

    My second reading. Tons more notes. Really focused my attention on the feeling of knowing, how different feelings of knowing can be called rational, scientific, mystical, or religious in different contexts. How these feelings are no different from the feeling of thirst or hunger, we co...

  • John Petrocelli
    Nov 28, 2017

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...

    This book is based around an interesting question that I had never considered before: What does it mean to know something? The author points out that 'the feeling of knowing' is a neuro-biological reaction and not a logical conclusion. There is also a wide genetic variability in th...

    This was a bit slow, and a bit dry, in parts, but the overlying concept was fascinating. We are not purely mechanical creatures. We don't void our beliefs when faced with uncertainty; we take into account new information and either reshape our thoughts or, more often, stick to our guns...

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I was doubtful it would be much good, but the more I read the better it got. If you're interested in understanding why it is that we think we know what we know and how our minds really work when it comes to the feeling of certainty, t...

    In the words of the author: The message at the heart of this book is that the feelings of knowing, correctness, conviction, and certainty aren't deliberate conclusions and conscious choices. They are mental sensations that happen to us.Unfortunately, once one understands this point, ...

    ?????? ???? ???? (???????) ?????? ??????. ??? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????. ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???...

    Interesting but tough reading, as it's rather technical. I like the idea, but I have to be honest - I'm not really sure I completely understood everything I read. Much like the title, there's no way to be certain that it really was a good book. Love the fact that the author had the ...

    Robert Burton has written a very accessible book that ends up spanning a much wider range of the biological limitations of the human mind than the title implies. Robert shows evidence that feelings of rightness or certainty are one of our basic emotions, and the role that emotion pl...

    Can basically be summarized as: 1. "Knowing" is a feeling and, as such, is subjective. You can feel like you "know" something that is, in fact, totally false. 2. We can't control the reaction of feeling like we know something. Part of it is controlled by our subconscious and is essen...

    What do we know about what we know? "Metaknowledge," knowledge about knowledge, is addressed in this book under "the feeling of knowing," into which Burton collapses the feelings of certainty, rightness, conviction and correctness. You know what he's talking about: The sense that yo...

    Review: An interesting account of the feeling of knowing and certainty. Includes discussion of how certainty arises out mental sensations that happen to us, as opposed to deliberate conclusions or conscious choices. Also includes discussion of neurological bases of certainty. Overall, ...

  • Jeffwest15
    Jan 04, 2009

    It is always somewhat astonishing when an intelligent author manages to make an interesting topic dull. The unassailable certainty exhibited by ideologues of many varieties lies behind many of the world's political and cultural problems. One would expect that an examination of how s...

    I was totally in love with this book when I first picked it up. Just saw it on the shelf, started browsing it, and couldn't put it down. A neurologist who is also a novelist, who has a lifelong interest in existential questions and wrote essays on William James in college? Dude! It see...

    I'll start this review with a quote from the back of the book, since it explains the premise better than I can: "In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" so...

    I really thought I was going to like this book because I enjoy epistemology and cognitive science. And yet, I only made it about 2/3 of the way through the book before I gave up. It was not so much that it was boring as that it was frustrating. The main problem I had was that this book...

    This was given to me for Christmas, perhaps as a dig at my joked-about intensive defense of my own ideas. Burton's thesis that there is an innate biological feeling of knowing, i.e. of certainty, that is separate and distinct from reason and actual fact, is not so hard for me to sw...