The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

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Penguin, Aug 26, 2003 - Psychology - 528 pages
27 Reviews
A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature from the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and the forthcoming Enlightenment Now

"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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ShadowBarbara - LibraryThing

Excellent book about how we got to this idea that everyone is malleable and "fixable". Overly detailed so it was a bit tedious but well worth the listen Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fliesbath - LibraryThing

This is a must-read. Pinker argues against the notion that humans are born with a blank slate of personality, etc. Instead, he asserts that we are animals just like every other animal that has certain ... Read full review

Contents

PRAISE FOR The Blank Slate
The Blank Slate the Noble Savage and the Ghost
Fear and Loathing
Human Nature with a Human Face
Know Thyself
Hot Buttons
The Voice of the Species
AFTERWORD TO THE 2016 EDITION
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Steven Pinker 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.

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