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The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

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The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature Cover

ISBN13: 9780142003343
ISBN10: 0142003344
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

Synopsis:

Widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts on language and the workings of the mind, Pulitzer Prize finalist Pinker has undertaken the most ambitious and controversial work of his career--a brilliant reexamination of the concept of human nature.

About the Author

Steven Pinker is Peter de Florez Professor at MIT. He has received many prizes for his teaching, his research, and his bestselling books, The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and Words and Rules.

Table of Contents

Preface

Part 1: The Blank Slate, the Noble Savage, and the Ghost in the Machine

Chapter 1: The Official Theory

Chapter 2: Silly Putty

Chapter 3: The Last Wall to Fall

Chapter 4: Culture Vultures

Chapter 5: The Slate's Last Stand

Part II: Fear and Loathing

Chapter 6: Political Scientists

Chapter 7: The Holy Trinity

Part III: Human Nature with a Human Face

Chapter 8: The Fear of Inequality

Chapter 9: The Fear on Imperfectibility

Chapter 10: The Fear of Determinism

Chapter 11: The Fear of Nihilism

Part IV: Know Thyself

Chapter 12: In Touch with Reality

Chapter 13: Out of Our Depths

Chapter 14: The Many Roots of Our Suffering

Chapter 15: The Sanctimonious Animal

Part V: Hot Buttons

Chapter 16: Politics

Chapter 17: Violence

Chapter 18: Gender

Chapter 19: Children

Chapter 20: The Arts

Part VI: The Voice of the Species

Appendix: Donald E. Brown's List of Human Universals

Notes

References

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Jason Straight, August 23, 2010 (view all comments by Jason Straight)
Stephen Pinker chalks up the blank slate. Drawing on a broad array of disciplines (psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy) Pinker subtly and persuasively argues that humans come prepackaged with a broad array of mental faculties and traits. This, however, is not another tired nature/nurture book, but turns the whole argument on its head by appealing constantly to the best current scientific evidence. One of the seminal books of our time.
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Drumbo, January 25, 2010 (view all comments by Drumbo)
With lively, unpretentious wit, Pinker unveils the folly of the blank slate, the noble savage, and the ghost in the machine. What he offers in their stead is a feast for the intellect and a morally uplifting view of our species.
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Alexandre, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Alexandre)
A must read of the decade, clear, provocative, at times disturbing and very solidly argued.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780142003343
Author:
Pinker, Steven
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Sociology - Social Theory
Subject:
Personality
Subject:
Nature and nurture
Subject:
Hâerâeditâe et milieu
Subject:
Psychology: Personality Disorders
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
640
Publication Date:
20030831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
9.30x6.06x1.16 in. 1.27 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Personality Disorders
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » General

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature Used Trade Paper
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Product details 528 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142003343 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts on language and the workings of the mind, Pulitzer Prize finalist Pinker has undertaken the most ambitious and controversial work of his career--a brilliant reexamination of the concept of human nature.

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