Stop Being Reasonable
Eleanor Gordon-Smith


Paperback | May 2019 | NewSouth | 9781742235875 | 224pp | 210x135mm | GEN | AUD$27.99, NZD$34.99

What if you’re not who you think you are?

What if you don’t really know the people closest to you?

And what if your most deeply-held beliefs turn out to be…wrong?

In Stop Being Reasonable, philosopher Eleanor Gordon-Smith tells gripping true stories that show the limits of human reason. Susie realises her husband harbours a terrible secret, Dylan leaves the cult he’s been raised in since birth, Alex discovers he can no longer return to his former identity after impersonating someone else on reality TV. All of them radically alter their beliefs about the things that matter most.

What makes them change course? What does this say about our own beliefs? And, in an increasingly divided world, what does it teach us about how we might change the minds of others?

Inspiring, moving and perceptive, Stop Being Reasonable is a mind-changing exploration of the murky place where philosophy and real life meet.

‘I knew how piercingly smart Eleanor Gordon-Smith is, and what a curious and resolute interviewer. But I was unprepared for how entertainingly she writes! I read this with pleasure.’ — Ira Glass

'It is curious and intelligent and deeply researched and genuinely thoughtful, and at the same time consistently entertaining to read...If you want to introduce someone to philosophy, give them this book.' — Alex Tighe, Australian Book Review

'[Gordon-Smith] has written a book that not only questions long-held philosophical belief — can Descartes’ philosophy of doubt drive us from truth? — but one that engages with life in such a way that makes the argument feel existentially urgent.' — Sydney Morning Herald

'Gordon-Smith does not have all the answers. But she gives us the tools we need to examine our biases and choose how we approach the decisions we need to make. For those of us who suspect the time for being reasonable — and not getting emotional — has passed, this is the book we need.' — Astrid Edwards, The Saturday Paper

'I’ve never read anything quite like this book; it is empathetic, sharply intelligent, and accessible.' — Ellen Cregan, Kill Your Darlings