The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

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9780142003343: The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

From bestselling author Stephen Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature shatters the myths surrounding human behaviour and 'nature versus nurture'.

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.

The Blank Slate shows that this view denies the heart of our being: human nature. Violence is not just a product of society; male and female minds are different; the genes we give our children shape the more than our parenting practices. To acknowledge our nature, Pinker shows, is not to condone inequality, but to understand the very foundations of humanity.

'Magnificent and timely'
  Sunday Telegraph

'A passionate defence of the enduring power of human nature ... both life-affirming and deeply satisfying'
  Tim Lott, Daily Telegraph Books of the Year

'Brilliant ... enjoyable, informative, clear, humane'
  New Scientist

Steven Pinker is a best-selling author and Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for cognitive Neuroscience at MIT. Pinker has been awarded research prizes from the National Academy of Sciences and the American Psychological Association, graduate and undergraduate teaching prizes from MIT, and book prizes from the American Psychological Association, the Linguistics Society of America and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Language Instinct.

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A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature.
"Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." -Time

Now updated with a new afterword

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."

Product Description:

'In a work of outstanding clarity and sheer brilliance Steven Pinker banishes forever fears that a biological understanding of human nature threatens humane values' - Helena Cronin, author of "The Ant and The Peacock". 'A mind blowing, mind opening expose. Pinker's profoundly positive arguments for the compatibility of biology and humanism are unrivalled for their scope and depth and should be mandatory, if disquieting, reading.' - Patricia Goldman-Rakic, Past President of the Society for Neuraoscience.

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