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The Blank Slate

by Steven Pinker

  • Paperback
    $28.97
PUBLISHED: 5th June 2003
ISBN: 9780140276053
ANNOTATION:
Recently many people have assumed that we are shaped by our environment: a blank slate waiting to be inscribed by upbringing and culture, with innate abilities playing little part. This title shows that this view denies the heart of our being: human nature.
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  • Paperback
    $28.97
PUBLISHED: 5th June 2003
ISBN: 9780140276053
ANNOTATION:
Recently many people have assumed that we are shaped by our environment: a blank slate waiting to be inscribed by upbringing and culture, with innate abilities playing little part. This title shows that this view denies the heart of our being: human nature.

Annotation

Recently many people have assumed that we are shaped by our environment: a blank slate waiting to be inscribed by upbringing and culture, with innate abilities playing little part. This title shows that this view denies the heart of our being: human nature.

Publisher Description

What is the truth about human nature? Are we each born a blank slate upon which experience is written? Steven Pinker argues that our usual explanations of human behaviour - stated most clearly in the human sciences of psychology, ethics and politics - tend to deny what is now undeniable: the role of an inherited human nature. Differences in personality or achievement, whether seen among races, ethnic groups, sexes or individuals, are routinely explained away as due not to differences in innate constitution but differences in experience. This work argues otherwise.

Author Biography

Steven Pinker is the best selling author of THE LANGUAGE INSTINCT and HOW THE MIND WORKS. He is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT.

Table of Contents

The blank slate, the noble savage and the ghost in the machine: the official theory; silly putty; the last wall to fall; culture vultures; the slate's last stand. Fear and loathing: political scientists; the Holy Trinity. Human nature with a human face: the fear of inequality; the fear of imperfectability; the fear of determinism; the fear of nihilism. Know thyself: in touch with reality; out of our depths; the many roots of our suffering; the sanctimonious animal. Hot buttons: politics; violence; gender; children; the arts. The voice of the species. Appendix: Donald E. Brown's list of human universals.

Review

An original and vital contribution to science and also a rattling good read -- Matt Ridley Sunday Telegraph If you think the nature-nurture debate has been resolved, you are wrong ... this book is required reading Literary Review Brilliant ... enjoyable, informative, clear, humane New Scientist A passionate defence of the enduring power of human nature ... both life-affirming and deeply satisfying -- Tim Lott Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year

Prizes

Short-listed for Aventis Prize for Science Books 2003

Review Text

A passionate defence of the enduring power of human nature ... both life-affirming and deeply satisfying

Product Details

Author
Steven Pinker
Publisher
Penguin Books Ltd
Year
2003
ISBN-10
014027605X
ISBN-13
9780140276053
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
2003-06-05
Subtitle
The Modern Denial of Human Nature
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
notes, index
Media
Book
Edition
1st
Short Title
BLANK SLATE
Residence
MA, US
Pages
560
Series
Penguin Press Science
Audience
General/Trade