In Two Minds: Dual Processes and Beyond

In Two Minds back cover
In Two Minds front cover

edited by Jonathan Evans and Keith Frankish

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Series: Oxford Cognitive Science
Format: Paperback, 384 pages, 22 line figures, 234x156mm
ISBN: 978-0-19-923016-7
Publication date: 29 January 2009
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This book explores the idea that we have two minds. In recent years there has been great interest in so-called dual-process theories of reasoning and rationality. According to dual-process theories, there are two distinct systems underlying human reasoning — an evolutionarily old system that is associative, automatic, unconscious, parallel, and fast, and a more recent, distinctively human system that is rule-based, controlled, conscious, serial, and slow. Within the former, processes are held to be innate and to use heuristics that evolved to solve specific adaptive problems. In the latter, processes are taken to be learned, flexible, and responsive to rational norms.

Despite the attention these theories are attracting, there is still poor communication between dual-process theorists themselves, and the substantial bodies of work on dual processes in cognitive psychology and social psychology remain isolated from each other. This book brings together leading researchers on dual processes to summarize the state of the art, highlight key issues, present different perspectives, explore implications, and provide a stimulus to further work.

The volume includes new ideas about the human mind both by contemporary philosophers interested in broad theoretical questions about mental architecture and by psychologists specializing in traditionally distinct and isolated fields. For all those in the cognitive sciences, this is a book that will advance dual-process theorizing, promote interdisciplinary communication, and encourage further applications of dual-process approaches.


1: Keith Frankish & Jonathan St B T Evans: The duality of mind: a historical perspective
Part I – Foundations
2: Jonathan St B T Evans: How many dual process theories do we need: one, two or many?
3: Keith E Stanovich: Distinguishing the reflective, algorithmic, and autonomous minds: is it time for a tri-process theory?
4: Keith Frankish: Systems and levels: dual-system theories and the personal-subpersonal distinction
5: Peter Carruthers: An architecture for dual reasoning
6: Richard Samuels: The magical number two, plus or minus: dual process theory as a theory of cognitive kinds
Part II – Perspectives
7: Hugo Mercier & Dan Sperber: Intuitive and reflective inferences
8: Valerie Thompson: Dual-process theories: a metacognitve perspective
9: Eliot R Smith & Elizabeth C Collins: Dual-process models: a social psychological model
10: Emma E Buchtel & Ara Norenzayan: Thinking across cultures: implications for dual processes
11: Ron Sun, Sean M Lane & Robert C Mathews: The two systems of learning: an architectural perspective
Part III – Applications
12: Paul A Klaczynski: Cognitive and social cognitive development: dual-process research and theory
13: Matthew D Lieberman: What zombies can’t do: a social cognitive neuroscience approach to the irreducibility of reflective consciousness
14: Clare Saunders & David Over: In two minds about rationality?
15: Leland F Saunders: Reason and intuition in the moral life: a dual-process account of moral justification


The first chapter of the book, ‘The duality of mind: An historical perspective’, is freely available online in pdf format.

For those with access to Oxford Scholarship Online, the full text of the book is available

Praise for In Two Minds

“The chapters in this remarkable collection define the state of the art in one of the most active areas of investigation in current psychology. Bravo!”
Daniel Kahneman, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Princeton University and recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

“There’s no two ways about it: this book is the state-of-the-art treatment of the idea that human minds display two radically different forms of cognitive activity. Required reading for anyone with foundational interests in the nature and architecture of the human mind.”
Andy Clark, Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, University of Edinburgh

“A wonderful, thorough, and timely volume with a superb group of contributors. As someone who first broached the possibility of the “dual-process”  approach some forty years ago, seeing how the field has developed is heart-warming. Often volumes such as this have “State of the art” as a subtitle. This one doesn’t. It should.”
Arthur S. Reber, Visiting Professor, University of British Columbia

“For more than a decade, dual-processing theories have been attracting an enormous amount of attention in both cognitive science and philosophy.  If you want to know what all the fuss is about, this volume is the perfect place to start.  It offers an informed historical perspective, an up-to-the minute overview of current theorizing, and a feast of fascinating findings. If you already know what all the fuss is about, the cutting-edge work assembled here is essential reading.”
Stephen Stich, Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Rutgers University


“Inarguably, this edited collection by Evans and Frankish is the definitive statement of the status quo in this area of work. While the volume does not contain articles by every single major contributor to the approach … it does include articles by most of those who have run or been instrumental in developing the tradition. As such, it is the best place to begin for anyone who would wish to understand what the fuss is about. Indeed, work not directly represented within the volume is repeatedly referred to, allowing the reader to grasp its basic outline and import. … [The book] is the perfect source for coming to grips with the scope and content of this popular and influential program as well as, ultimately, with its internal difficulties. It should be read carefully by anyone who would use the System 1 / System 2 distinction in their own work.”
Konrad Talmont-Kaminski, Marie Curie-Sklodowska University. In Philosophy in Review Vol.30 (2010) No.5. Read the full review.