MixedThe Guardian (UK)The fact remains that the history of sapiens – Harari\'s name for us – is only a very small part of the history of humankind ... Can its full sweep be conveyed in one fell swoop – 400 pages? Not really; it\'s easier to write a brief history of time – all 14bn years – and Harari also spends many pages on our present and possible future rather than our past. But the deep lines of the story of sapiens are fairly uncontentious, and he sets them out with verve. Harari swashbuckles through...vast and intricate matters in a way that is – at its best – engaging and informative ... Much of Sapiens is extremely interesting, and it is often well expressed. As one reads on, however, the attractive features of the book are overwhelmed by carelessness, exaggeration and sensationalism There\'s a kind of vandalism in Harari\'s sweeping judgments, his recklessness about causal connections, his hyper-Procrustean stretchings and loppings of the data.
MixedThe Guardian (UK)It’s an illuminating introduction to the topic of consciousness. It addresses the real issue—unlike almost all recent popular books on this subject. It stands a good chance of delivering the extremely large intellectual jolt that many people will need if they are to get into (or anywhere near) the right ballpark for thinking about consciousness. This is a great thing. Goff’s historical remarks about panpsychism are misleading, however ... Goff is also wrong to identify materialism, the ancient and overwhelmingly plausible view that everything in the universe including consciousness is wholly material, with the obviously false and hyperscientistic view that everything in the universe, including feelings of pain, sexual joy, experiences of colour, and so on, can be “exhaustively described” (ie described in such a way that its nature is fully conveyed) in the language of the physical sciences.
RaveThe Guardian (UK)... alarming, intellectually aerobic ... It is an outstanding book, distinguished by beauty and clarity of detail, precision of presentation and gentleness of manner. Its truths are open to all ... Some chapters are more taxing than others, but all are gratefully short, and none requires any special learning.