His theory was empiricism and wanted to know about psychology how the mind works and epistemology how people come to know the truth. The blank slate summary by steven pinker overdrive. S pinker, m ullman, m hollander, tj rosen, f xu, h clahsen. Steven pinker is a professor of cognitive science the study of the human mind who writes about language, mind and human nature. Steven pinker is professor in the department of brain.
Steven pinker is currently considered a single author. If the human mind is a blank slate completely formed by the environment, then ruthlessly and totally controlling every aspect of the environment will create perfect minds. Its a socialbiological study of nature versus nature. Steven pinker, writing with persuasiveness and craft, shows why the doctrine of the blank slate became so important to 20th century intellectuals that they were willing to. The blank slate this study was about our concepts of human nature affects every aspect of our lives, from the way we raise our children to the political movements we embrace. To think of this book as any kind of scholarly exercise is a category mistake. This is really two books in one, which may be why it is rather long. The modern denial of human nature by steven pinker chapter 1. In the blank slate, steven pinker, one of the worlds leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. Locke the blank slate was attributed to one of his ideas, however, his idea was actually using the metaphor of a white paper being painted on by experience. The main characters of this science, psychology story are.
Pinker is characterizing the loose set of views, commonly held by todays humanities and social science intellectuals, that emphasize the role. The blank slate by steven pinker at the best online ebook storage. Recently many people have assumed that we are shaped by our environment. Steven pinkers book the blank slate argues that all humans are born with some innate traits. Human nature is an idea or belief on how people behave.
In the blank slate, the bestselling author steven pinker produces his most polemical and convincing attack upon the nurture side of the nature versus nurture debate. The book was nominated for the 2003 aventis prizes and was a finalist for the pulitzer prize. This book is the 1034th greatest nonfiction book of all time as determined by. The blank slate is an intellectual landmark that shouldnt be missed. Steven pinker, author of the better angels of our nature, is the harvard college professor of psychology at harvard university. Blank slatetbs, a book monumental in scope and scholarship, professor steven pinker shows that this dominant dogma has long outlived its scientific warrant. Steven pinker succumbs to the siren calls of evolutionary psychology, cognitive science and behavioural genetics as he tries to map human. Pinker in the article states, on one side is a militant denial of human nature, a conviction that the mind of a. All of us have to anticipate how people will react to their surroundings, and that means that we all need theories, implicit or explicit, about what makes. Steven pinker harvard university the blank slate the modern denial of human nature human nature is a topic of perennial interest because everyone has a theory about it. If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author. The blank slate by steven pinker science book club. The modern denial of human nature by steven pinker the blank slate is an ambitious book that goes after the blank slate fallacy that is the idea that the human mind has no inherent structure and can be inscribed at will by society or ourselves. Monographs of the society for research in child development, i178, 1992.
The modern denial of human nature is a bestselling book by steven pinker, in which the author makes a case against tabula rasa. The blank slate by steven pinker the 1034th greatest. As human beings, we develop theories to better understand others. Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to readalso highly persuasive. Anyone who has raised a child knows this, of course, but scientific. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traitsa doctrine held by many intellectuals during the.
Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Pinkers profoundly positive arguments for the compatibility of biology and humanism are unrivalled for their scope and. He claims that the blank slate concept denies our common humanity. The mind cannot be a blank slate, because blank slates dont do anything. Mao and pol pots khmer rouge, who exterminated far more than hitler did, explicitly endorsed the blank slate view of humanity. William godwin 17561835, one of the founders of liberal political philosophy, wrote that children are a sort of raw material put into our hands, their minds like a sheet of white paper.
The modern denial of human nature, pinker characterizes the blank state as the idea that the human mind has no inherent structure and can be inscribed at will by society or ourselves. Time now updated with a new afterword one of the worlds leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. The inscriptions will sit there forever unless something notices patterns in them, combines them with patterns learned at other times, uses the combinations to scribble new thoughts onto the slate, and reads the results to guide behavior toward goals. Steven pinker is one of the worlds most influential thinkers and writers on the human condition. Download and read online for free the blank slate by steven pinker.
The mental world grounded in the physical world by the concepts of information, computation, and feedback. Pinker elegantly juggles philosophy, folkpsychology, and politics, and in the process shows exactly why it is so important that practitioners in different areas of inquiry dont lose track of what goes on in other, related fields. The blank slate the idea that all humans are the same at birth and that whatever each develops into is the result of education, experience, etc, and furthermore, we can control what each individual develops into by. Contrary to the blank slate, pinker argues, humans are not passive receptacles or empty vessels. Their combined citations are counted only for the first article. Before we understood genetics to the level we do today, we knew that everything about a person couldnt be encoded into our genes. The modern denial of human nature, steven pinker challenged the assumption that people are moulded by society and their upbringing, raising awkward questions about race. The first edition of the novel was published in 2002, and was written by steven pinker. The modern denial of human nature is a bestselling 2002 book by the cognitive psychologist steven pinker, in which the author makes a case. The blank slate quotes showing of 102 equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable. Steven pinkers embarrassing new book is a feeble sermon for rattled liberals. The modern denial of human nature, steven pinker picks up an idea he began to describe in the language instinct 1994 and how the mind works 1997.
All of us have to anticipate how people will react to their surroundings, and so we all need theories. This gave rise to the idea that the brain was a blank slate, a new computer with nothing loaded. The modern denial of human nature shatters the myths surrounding human behaviour and nature versus nurture. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature from the author of the better angels of our nature and enlightenment now. This page contains details about the nonfiction book the blank slate by steven pinker published in 2002. In the blank slate, steven pinker, one of the worlds leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and. The thinking persons guide to writing in the 21st century has never gotten in. Pinker writes with approval of a bridge having been created between biology and culture, resting on five points. The modern denial of human nature by steven pinker online at alibris. From bestselling author stephen pinker, the blank slate. The modern denial of human nature is a bestselling 2002 book by the cognitive psychologist steven pinker, in which the author makes a case against tabula rasa models in the social sciences, arguing that human behavior is substantially shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations. The author of the language instinct, the blank slate and, most recently, the sense of style. The book was published in multiple languages including english, consists of 528 pages and is available in paperback format.
In the blank slate, steven pinker explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. The blank slate by steven pinker penguin books new zealand. The purpose of pinkers laborious work is to reassure liberals that they are on the right side of history. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traitsa doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past centurydenies our common humanity and our. The blank slate by steven pinker books the guardian.
Pinkers previous books the language instinctand how the mind works have already attracted huge praise and controversy in arguing that language and cognition are natural rather than cultural. The idea that the mind cannot be a blank slate because blank slates dont do anything. Believing that all individuals are born equal in tendencies, traits, and talents leaves an adherent of this view to wonder why is it exactly that some do better than others. Stephen pinker is a professor of psychology in the department of brain and cognitive sciences at the massachusetts institute of technology, the author of several bestsellers including how the mind works and the language instinct and is one of the most noted scientists and writers in an emergent and controversial field of studies evolutionary psychology. The blank slate, the noble savage, and the ghost in the machine steven pinker the tanner lectures on human values delivered at yale university april 20 and 21, 1999. The blank slate, the noble savage, and the ghost in the. Buy the blank slate by steven pinker from waterstones today. The blank slate by steven pinker penguin books australia. What digital items do customers buy after viewing this item. The blank slate and its companion doctrines have infiltrated the conventional wisdom of our civilization and have repeatedly surfaced in unexpected places. The blank slate by steven pinker, harvard university human nature is a topic of perennial interest, because everyone has a theory of human nature. His popular and highly praised books include the better angels of our nature, the sense of style, the stuff of thought, the blank slate, how the mind works, and the language instinct.351 46 1003 674 504 49 1118 725 1303 1120 524 728 1308 472 335 1509 1284 483 1306 1520 545 481 1200 769 1431 410 1461 1208 304 1169 198 484 505 257 1168 392 322 437 1153