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Blank Slate : The Modern Denial of Human Nature - 02 edition

Blank Slate : The Modern Denial of Human Nature (ISBN10: 0670031518; ISBN13: 9780670031511)
ISBN13: 978-0670031511
ISBN10: 0670031518

Summary: 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 intelle
ctuals 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.
...show more
Summary: 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. ...show less

Edition/Copyright: 02
Cover: Hardcover
Publisher: Viking
Published: 09/30/2002
International: No

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2002-09-30 Hardcover Good in Good jacket Vintage retired library hardcover has a lovely decorative dustjacket nicely protected in mylar. Has all the usual library markings, clean book and built to ...show morestay that way. MendoPower Employment Services will immediately and carefully pack this book in high-quality bubble lined, envelopes. Then we send you a confirmation e-mail. We appreciate your business and welcome any questions. ...show less
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The author of the highly praised How The Mind Works takes on the latest "secular taboo": human nature. Ranging through the history of philosophy, psychology, anthropology and evolutionary biology, Pi ...show morenker reveals howJohn Locke's metaphor of the "blank state," Rousseau's concept of the "noble savage," and Descartes' strict division between mind and body have become entrenched in modern intellectual life, in the latest phase of the"nature-nurture issue." "Stimulating, fearless...and a pleasure to read." 509p. ...show less
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