Social animal

The social Animal by David Brooks

Quotes & Notes


The use of the word ‘boob’ was a source of subliminal annoyance to him, because that undignified word did not deserve to be used in connection with so holy a form, and he sensed it was used, mostly by women, to mock his deep fixation

While Rob was mentally undressing her, she was mentally dressing him


As Helen Fisher wrote in a chapter of The New Psychology of Love, “Most men and women fall in love with individuals of the same ethnic, social, religious, educational, and economic background, those of similar physical attractiveness, a comparable intelligence, similar attitudes, expectations, values, interests, and those with similar social and communication skills

Decision Making, Reason, and Emotion

Reason and emotion are not separate and opposed. Reason is nestled upon and dependent upon it. Emotion assigns value to things, and reason can only make choices on the basis of those valuations. The human mind can be pragmatic because deep down it is romantic


[Wisdom]… is not scientific knowledge, but a special sensitiveness to the contours of the circumstances in which we happen to be placed; it is a capacity for living without falling foul of some permanent condition or factor which cannot either be altered or fully described and calculate; an ability to be guided by rules of thumb — the ‘immemorial wisdom’ said to reside in peasants and other ‘simple folk’ — where rules of science do not, in principle apply. This inexpressible sense of cosmic orientation is the ‘sense of reality,’ the ‘knowledge’ of how to live