Human Understanding

An Engineer's Analysis of Life, Getting to the Basics

Non-Fiction - Religion/Philosophy
376 Pages
Reviewed on 09/16/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

Human Understanding: An Engineer's Analysis of Life, Getting to the Basics by Robert Brust PE is a commentary and analysis of the question “What is life about?” Brust divides the subject into four sections: how we function mentally; concepts in reality; related considerations; and the path to fulfillment. He discusses a wide variety of topics, includes scientific facts, shares personal observations, and quotes from some of the great thinkers of the world. His stated purpose is to encourage readers to open their minds rather than conform to and blindly accept what they have been taught, so that they may seek truth and happiness.

“Learning is about opening the mind to new ideas,” Brust writes. “In a world that seems centered on worldly wants, many people look to worldly things, worldly pleasures, and even worldly acceptance for happiness... This book looks to establish fixed basics for understanding life that make logical sense, yet which do not depend upon religion, science, or politics.”

I enjoyed Human Understanding and not just because I’m also an engineer. While Brust provides a logical and experience/data-driven approach, his writing style is understandable and approachable. I appreciate his views on the role of virtue, love, responsibility, and spirituality in providing pathways to happiness for the individual as well as society in general; and of calm and rational discussion between people who hold differing opinions as the means to that end. In a time when our national dialog is so tensely emotional, Brust’s call for mutual respect and the use of logic and facts to search out the truth of an issue is one we desperately need.