The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

Front Cover
Penguin, Aug 26, 2003 - Psychology - 560 pages
37 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature from the author of RationalityThe Better Angels of Our Nature, and Enlightenment Now.

"Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." --Time

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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
20
4 stars
8
3 stars
7
2 stars
2
1 star
0

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - malcrf - LibraryThing

Simply excellent. Such a wide-ranging, eye-opening and thorough review and analysis of the developments that are critical to our understanding of humans, what forges and drives them and what that might mean. An essential read, for anyone and everyone. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 064 - LibraryThing

Pinker deftly blends a deep understanding of philosophy and a thorough review of scientific literature to critic the dearly-held 19070’s intellectual doctrines of the blank slate, the noble savage and ... Read full review

Contents

The Official Theory
5
Silly Putty
14
The Last Wall to Fall
30
Culture Vultures
59
The Slates Last Stand
73
Fear and Loathing
103
Political Scientists
105
The Holy Trinity
121
Out of Our Depths
219
The Many Roots of Our Suffering
241
The Sanctimonious Animal
269
Hot Buttons
281
Politics
283
Violence
306
Gender
337
Children
372

Human Nature with a Human Face
137
The Fear of Inequality
141
The Fear of Imperfectibility
159
The Fear of Determinism
174
The Fear of Nihilism
186
Know Thyself
195
In Touch with Reality
197
The Arts
400
The Voice of the Species
421
Donald E Browns List of Human Universals
435
NOTES
441
REFERENCES
461
INDEX
491
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of our Nature,  is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of many awards for his research, teaching, and books, he has been named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Today and Foreign Policy's 100 Global Thinkers.

Bibliographic information