Book Review ‘Beyond Reason, why we fail to understand each other’

  • Author: Jakub Ferencik
  • Publisher:
  • Publishing year: 2021
  • Number of pages: 96 (iBook)
  • ISBN: 9798481373959
  • My rating: 3,5/5


Why is it that everyone around us professes certainty amidst so much confusion, extremism, and polarization? Everyone has answers and yet so few questions are truly resolved. Academics debate endlessly, politicians manipulate desperately, and parents misguide in the same way that they were misled. In this book, Ferencik argues that the only way to come close to resolving our ideological battles is to assume that we are fallible; he claims that certainty is the enemy of progress. For much of history, dogma restricted the progress our ancestors hoped for. Today, we are similarly threatened by dogma. But in our case, we have tools we can work with to become more balanced, tolerant, and kind to those who disagree with us. If we are to truly aim at objectivity, we must read widely, disagree kindly, rethink voraciously, and move beyond reason.

My thoughts:

When reading this book, it’s important to have an open mind. It is a very heavy topic and will appeal to many that are interested in the world of psychology but also to those who are interested in the minds of people and the art of knowledge.

Jakub Ferencik offered me his book to read and review and I had postponed it, as I was not certain this would be my cup of tea. I told the author as much but as I am always up for a challenge (concerning literature and books, that is!) I accepted it. But as said, I left it for a few weeks (months even) before starting to read it (apart from the introduction which I read immediately)

And honestly, I was intrigued and interested and I kept reading once I started and finished it in two sittings, which is a wonder because of the ‘dry’ topic. Okay, I admit, the first chapter was a bit of a challenge. Lots of names and philosophers were thrown at me and as I don’t know a lot of them (or know them but don’t really feel for them) I was a bit overwhelmed with all these names and the history of philosophy.

But once I’ve reached chapter two, I was pulled into a vortex of knowledge. Do I completely agree with every point of view by the author? Of course not, but that’s what the beauty of this book is, it’s informative and it offers information about knowledge and the pitfalls of knowledge (and how people absorb and use this)

And ultimately it poses the questions: who are the philosophers of today and what is their role in our society? And what is the future of philosophy, if any? Haven’t all the big questions been answered?

Ferencik tries to answer these questions. He was in full lockdown when he wrote this book and that periode makes for a very good breeding ground for this topic.

The author had been generous with quotes from other philosophers so he offers a good bibliography in the end of the book!

So are you into philosophy or do you wonder what and who and where… read this!

I enjoyed it, even though this is way beyond my comfort zone, but I have to admit, if it hadn’t been offered to me… I’d probably wouldn’t have read this. But now I feel I’m a bit wiser again.

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