The blank slate: the modern denial of human nature

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Our conceptions of human nature affect everything aspect of our lives, from child-rearing to politics to morality to the arts. Yet many fear that scientific discoveries about innate patterns of thinking and feeling may be used to justify inequality, to subvert social change, and to dissolve personal responsibility. In The Blank Slate , Steven Pinker explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. He shows how many intellectuals have denied the existence of human nature and instead have embraced three dogmas: The Blank Slate (the mind has no innate traits), The Noble Savage (people are born good and corrupted by society), and The Ghost in the Machine (each of us has a soul that makes choices free from biology). Each dogma carries a moral burden, so their defenders have engaged in desperate tactics to discredit the scientists who are now challenging them. Pinker provides calm in the stormy debate by disentangling the political and moral issues from the scientific ones. He shows that equality, compassion, responsibility, and purpose have nothing to fear from discoveries about an innately organized psyche. Pinker shows that the new sciences of mind, brain, genes, and evolution, far from being dangerous, are complementing observations about the human condition made by millennia of artists and philosophers. All this is done in the style that earned his previous books many prizes and worldwide acclaim: irreverent wit, lucid exposition, and startling insight on matters great and small.
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Grouped Work ID b621bdca-6aa7-c874-b242-01c324204a07
Grouping Title blank slate the modern denial of human nature
Grouping Author pinker steven
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-02-16 23:36:02PM
Last Indexed 2019-02-16 13:54:38PM

Solr Details

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author Steven Pinker
author_display Pinker, Steven
available_at_catalog Green Hills, Green Hills Kids, Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction, Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature from the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and the forthcoming Enlightenment Now
"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.
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owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Green Hills, Green Hills Kids, Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9780142003343
publishDate 2002, 2003
record_details ils:CARL0000188722|Book|Books||English|Viking,|2002.|xvi, 509 p. ; 25 cm., ils:CARL0000596905|Book|Books||English|Penguin Books,|2003, c2002.|xvi, 509 p. : ill. ; 23 cm., overdrive:d01458ea-1511-4e73-ad79-7cb1ca4fee9e|eBook|eBook||English|Penguin Publishing Group||
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subject_facet Nature and nurture
title_display The blank slate : the modern denial of human nature
title_full The Blank Slate The Modern Denial of Human Nature, The blank slate : the modern denial of human nature / Steven Pinker, The blank slate : the modern denial of human nature / Steven Pinker
title_short The blank slate :
title_sub the modern denial of human nature
topic_facet History, Nature and nurture, Nonfiction, Sociology