The Blank Slate
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The Blank Slate : The Modern Denial of Human Nature

4.08 (18,682 ratings by Goodreads)
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'A passionate defence of the enduring power of human nature ... both life-affirming and deeply satisfying' Daily Telegraph

Recently many people have assumed that we are blank slates shaped by our environment. But this 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 them more than our parenting practices. To acknowledge our innate abilities, Pinker shows, is not to condone inequality, but to understand the very foundations of humanity.

'Brilliant ... enjoyable, informative, clear, humane' New Scientist

'If you think the nature-nurture debate has been resolved, you are wrong ... this book is required reading' Literary Review

'An original and vital contribution to science and also a rattling good read' Matt Ridley, Sunday Telegraph

'Startling ... This is a breath of air for a topic that has been politicized for too long' Economist
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Product details

  • Paperback | 560 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 23mm | 362g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • notes, index
  • 014027605X
  • 9780140276053
  • 20,165

Table of contents

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.
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Review Text

A passionate defence of the enduring power of human nature ... both life-affirming and deeply satisfying Tim Lott Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year
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Review quote

An original and vital contribution to science and also a rattling good read -- Matt Ridley * Sunday Telegraph * If you think the nature-nurture debate has been resolved, you are wrong ... this book is required reading * Literary Review * Brilliant ... enjoyable, informative, clear, humane * New Scientist * A passionate defence of the enduring power of human nature ... both life-affirming and deeply satisfying -- Tim Lott * Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year *
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About Steven Pinker

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."
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Rating details

18,682 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 42% (7,775)
4 35% (6,482)
3 16% (3,052)
2 5% (906)
1 2% (467)
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