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 are different; the genes we give our children shape the more than our parenting practices. To acknowledge our nature, Pinker shows, is not to condone inequality, but to understand the very foundations of humanity.
'Magnificent and timely'
'A passionate defence of the enduring power of human nature ... both life-affirming and deeply satisfying'
Tim Lott, Daily Telegraph Books of the Year
'Brilliant ... enjoyable, informative, clear, humane'
Steven Pinker is a best-selling author and Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for cognitive Neuroscience at MIT. Pinker has been awarded research prizes from the National Academy of Sciences and the American Psychological Association, graduate and undergraduate teaching prizes from MIT, and book prizes from the American Psychological Association, the Linguistics Society of America and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Language Instinct.
Steven Pinker is one of the world's most influential thinkers and writers on the human condition. His popular and highly praised books include The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct. The recipient of several major awards for his teaching, books, and scientific research, Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He also writes frequently for The New York Times, the Guardian and other publications. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazine's "The World's Top 100 Public Intellectuals," Foreign Policy's "100 Global Thinkers," and Time magazine's "The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today."
The blank slate, the noble savage and the ghost in the machine: the official theory; silly putty; the last wall to fall; culture vultures; the slate's last stand. Fear and loathing: political scientists; the Holy Trinity. Human nature with a human face: the fear of inequality; the fear of imperfectability; the fear of determinism; the fear of nihilism. Know thyself: in touch with reality; out of our depths; the many roots of our suffering; the sanctimonious animal. Hot buttons: politics; violence; gender; children; the arts. The voice of the species. Appendix: Donald E. Brown's list of human universals.