The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes
by Donald David Hoffman
A groundbreaking examination of human perception. Do we see the world as it truly is? In The Case Against Reality, cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman says no— our visual perceptions are not a window on reality, but instead are interfaces constructed by natural selection. What we see is not unlike the file icons on our computer desktops: while shaped like a small page on our screens, the files themselves are made of a series of numbers, of ones and zeros stored in an intangible way. In a similar way, Hoffman argues, evolution has shaped our perceptions into illusions. The sensory simplifications that once maximized our reproductive fitness are now impressions that can be manipulated by marketing and design. Drawing on thirty years of Hoffman’s own research, as well as work in evolutionary biology, game theory, neuroscience, computer science, information theory, and philosophy, The Case Against Reality explains why the world is nothing like what we see through our eyes.