The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature [Steven Pinker] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A brilliant inquiry into the origins of. 13 Oct By STEVEN PINKER OCT. 13, . “Blank slate” is a loose translation of the medieval Latin term tabula rasa-literally, “scraped tablet. Turning the Tables on the Tabula Rasa. by. David P. Barash*. A review of The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker pp, Viking.

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The result is a somewhat uneven and contradictory book where one chapter asserts that women don’t go into math because they are innately unlikely to like it, and another chapter asserts that no one is innately good at complex math, which is why we have school to pound it into kids’ little heads.

But the book is absolutely exhausting, wheeling from one conclusion to the next in a mixture of hopeless pessimism, wide-eyed futurism, white-knuckled warnings about not screwing up the status quo, and sudden naivete.

Meanwhile, there are real interventions involving school environment or cognitive behavior that could help but are generally pinkeer even considered.

He also tends to reduce complex issues, such as art or culture or rule of law to biological pinoer, which is pinksr bit odd when he also asserts human individuality and specialness as long as they also fall within the Norman the Normy Norms that define actual human nature, I suppose. Skip tahula and pick up something by Pinker 1, like The Language Instinct: Simon Blackburn put it best: It is now possible to make sense of mental processes, and even to study them in the lab Poverty of the stimulus Sociobiology.


He was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, in and in As epistemic creatures, we would also be able to ask that all-important question: The religious opposition to neuroscience.

However, that only constitutes a “proof” of the nonexistence of the soul if you’re a reductionist in a hurry to sweep the remaining details under the rug and move on.

piinker MJD Still ongoing, and the version I got has a final chapter at the end, written inthat gives updates on all the chapters given new scientific …more Still ongoing, and the version I got has a final chapter at the end, written inthat gives updates on all the chapters given new scientific discoveries and new trends in academia and popular culture. There are really two main c I contend that there are two Steven Pinkers. The case of behavioural genetics is interesting.

It’s a stark reminder that even in environments where people should be better and do better, they often give in to their worst instincts. The same statistic for the United States and Europe combined during the 20th century, including both World Wars, was infinitesimal by comparison.

Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behaviour for a scholarly overview of fields studying evolution and human behavior and Buller’s Adapting Minds: Want to Read saving….

Before the revolution, commentators invoked enormous black boxes such as ‘the intellect’ or ‘the understanding’, and they made sweeping pronouncements about human nature, such as that we are pinkrr noble or essentially nasty. In sum, this book amounts to an interesting point of view that, while not entirely accurate, helps us see human society in a different light.

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

Ego investment still is riding high, it seems. I would recommend this book to everyone I know. New York Review of Books. Evolutionary psychology Psychology portal Evolutionary biology portal. Academics steveen the view that biology and evolution play a role in influencing human nature have often suffered at the hands of their critics some egregious examples are included in the book.


In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. Jul 14, Daniel rated it it was ok Shelves: A more comprehensive summary at end of each chapter would have been added value.

Review: The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker | Books | The Guardian

Pinker writes it off as just a casual figure of speech. Any mention of the scathing reviews the book met in the scientific press see Cheryl Brown Travis’s edited volume Evolution, Gender, and Rape is omitted or given cursory treatment. Lengthy rants against his ideological opponents and an extended argument in favor of a watered-down hereditarian view of human nature. The choice is whether certain facts about humans, or topics, are to be considered taboos, forbidden knowledge, where we shouldn’t go there because no good can come from it, or whether we should explore them honestly.

Anyone who wants his or her worldview to actually reflect reality has to take that into account. To do that, we will have to dig a lot deeper and understand what has made us let them drift apart in the first place. Views Read Edit View history.