The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

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Penguin, Aug 26, 2003 - History - 528 pages
4 Reviews
"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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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This is an amazingly good book that really catches you off guard. It discusses the science of genetics and the politics behind why this information isn't better understood by the general public or even by many professionals. It's interesting and thought provoking, the kind of book you find yourself talking about after you read a chapter. It hits on "hot button" topics like parenting and feminism. The writing style is engaging and witty. It is however a long book and the first section is a little rough to get through. But it's well worth sticking with as it gets more and more interesting the more you read.  


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

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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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