S. Back - agentur für ungarische literatur - agency for hungarian literature

HU 2008
Az elvek csapodár természete

László Mérö: Az elvek csapodár természete (I Have My Principles!)

250 pages (Hungary, 2008)

Our principles cannot be as consistent as we would wish, for we have to find a balance between emotions, reason, and faith.
Mankind is inclined to see great secrets where what is in fact at work is forces that cannot be mastered.
The well-known Hungarian mathematician, psychologist, and economist László Mér? demonstrates to the reader how to get a handle on the problems of daily life using the latest findings of psychology.

The book contains five-minute (and sometimes longer) essays that in addition to their wit and conversational character are also not lacking in seriousness.

The chapters:

The Power of Principles

The Power of Emotions

The Power of Belief

The Power of Science

The Author: Mathematics is my mother tongue. I have been working in the field of psychology, whose language I continue to speak “with an accent,” for twenty-five years.
The essay form gives me the possibility to reach both mathematicians and nonmathematicians. Thus to me, my “accent” accent represents freedom, and I hope for the reader it will mean good conversation and intellectual stimulation.



1.The Power of Principles
It’s not that you’re better at the game; you just don’t give me enough of a handicap!

The exception proves the rule…
The great secret
Stupid questions
In praise of awkwardness
The world’s oldest profession
Play and battle

Cooperation and competition
…On the field, on the bench – Genes and memes – The advantage of being a hybrid –Rabbit hunt –
Hidden common goals – The role of the opponent – Business enemies – A slumbering love

2. The Power of Faith
If I were God, I would create both theistic and atheistic planets so that one could see which leads to a more beautiful world, the one where they believe in me or the one where they don’t.

The healing power of faith
The science of psychology
The credibility of science
The limits of logic
Simple words
Face to face
  The nature of belief – Planet of colors – Face to face – Types of belief – Blind faith – “Thank God I’m an atheist” – Faith as ability – Faith and Religion – Atheism as belief? – Belief and atheism from the psychological point of view – Blind faith from the psychological point of view – Even more curious planets

3. The Power of Belief
All legitimate questions need not always be asked

The voice of conscience
Noble predators
Home game
Silent emotions
The advantages of bad moods
  Pencil in the mouth – Emotions in faces and on the lie detector – Basic emotions and no basic emotions – The shaky bridge – Controlled rage – Thought processes of the emotionally wounded – “Descartes’s error” – The effect of emotions on our thinking – The affective revolution in psychology – Control over emotions

4. The power of science
The automobile and the computer work just as well for the believer as for the atheist.

The I.Q. test
Reward and punishment
Eternal youth
Supernatural numbers
Decisive experiment
The natural laws of conscience
   The role of mathematics – From model theory – From theory, a natural law – Natural laws beyond physics – Natural laws of biology –The law of inner harmony – Science is a human affair – The role of intuiiton – Changed circumstances of conscience – Yet…

Folksongs have their principles

Kritiken / Reviews:

reviews still to come

More works of this writer:

Uj Észjárások (Habits of Mind)
Mindenki másképp egyforma (Moral Calculations)
A pénz evolúciója (The Evolution of Money)
Az Érzelmek Logikája (The Logic of the Emotions)

<-- László Mérő