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..
Four of the world's most renowned thinkers take on one of the biggest debates of the modern era. "It's just a brute fact that we don't throw virgins into volcanoes any more. We don't execute people for shoplifting a cabbage. And we used to." (Steven Pinker). "The idea that because things have gotten better in the past they will continue to do so in the future is a fallacy I would have thought confined to the lower reaches of Wall Street." (Malcolm Gladwell)...
'My new favourite book of all time' Bill Gates
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Is modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible?
If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred, and irrationality. Yet Steven Pinker shows that this is an illusion - a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trendlines rather than the headlines, you discover that ..
In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psy..
In "The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature", Steven Pinker looks at how the relationship between words and thoughts can help us understand who we are. Why do so many swear words involve topics like sex, bodily functions or the divine? Why do some children's names thrive while others fall out of favour? Why do we threaten and bribe and seduce in such elaborate, often comical ways? How can a choice of metaphor damn a politician or start a war? And why do we rarely say what we..