The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

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Penguin, 2003 - Psychology - 509 pages
288 Reviews
In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, 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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Fantastic. Great subject and writing. - Goodreads
Interesting and easy to read, from cover to cover! - Goodreads
Pinker is a great writer and very engaging. - Goodreads
I fell in love with the style of writing too. - Goodreads

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

User Review  - Shaun Joyce - Goodreads

While the book did not "blow me away", it was a decent read. I felt some chapters tended to drag on or were largely unnecessary as a whole (particularly the last two chapters), but nevertheless I'd ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Walter Herrick - Goodreads

This book is alright, but is a little hard to follow in the audiobook format...can't look back and reread difficult sections. Most topics are interesting, but some sections are exceptionally depressing and others are dull. 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

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About the author (2003)

Steven Pinker is one of the world's leading authorities on language and the mind. His popular and highly praised books include Words and Rules, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct. The recipient of several major awards for his teaching and scientific research, Pinker is Peter de Florez professor of psychology in the department of brain and cognitive sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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