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The Blank Slate PDF

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The Blank Slate PDF-In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, 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.-The Blank Slate PDF

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.-The Blank Slate PDF

NOTE: Some changes to the original text have been made with the author’s approval.

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The Blank Slate PDF is one of the best medical books for students and professionals on the subject of Psychology . It is a must download.

The Authors

The Blank Slate PDF

Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language, cognition, and social relations, writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time and The Atlantic, and is the author of twelve books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Stuff of Thought, The Better Angels of Our Nature,The Sense of Style, Enlightenment Now, and the forthcoming Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters.-The Blank Slate PDF
Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. He grew up in Montreal and earned his BA from McGill and his PhD from Harvard. Currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard, he has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, and Enlightenment Now. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one of Foreign Policy’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” He was Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and writes frequently for the New York Times, the Guardian, and other publications. His twelfth book, to be published in September 2021, is called Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters.-The Blank Slate PDF
Steven Pinker was born in 1954 in the English-speaking Jewish community of Montreal, Canada. He earned a bachelor’s degree in experimental psychology at McGill University and then moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1976, where he has spent most of his career bouncing back and forth between Harvard and MIT. He earned his doctorate at Harvard in 1979, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, a one-year stint as an assistant professor at Harvard, and in 1982, a move back to MIT that lasted until 2003, when he returned to Harvard. Currently he is the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology. He also has spent two years in California: in 1981-82, when he was an assistant professor at Stanford, and in 1995-96, when he spent a sabbatical year at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Pinker is an experimental psychologist who is interested in all aspects of language and mind. His doctoral dissertation and much of his early research focused on visual cognition, the ability to imagine shapes, recognize faces and objects, and direct attention within the visual field. But beginning in graduate school he cultivated an interest in language, particularly language development in children, and this topic eventually took over his research activities. In addition to his experimental papers, he wrote two technical books early in his career. One presented a comprehensive theory of how children acquire the words and grammatical structures of their mother tongue. The second focused on the meaning, syntax, and acquisition of verbs, and what they reveal about the mental representation of reality. For the next two decades his research focused on the distinction between irregular verbs like bring-brought and regular verbs like walk-walked. The two kinds of verbs, he showed, exemplify the two cognitive processes that make language possible: looking up words in memory, and combining words (or parts of words) according to combinatorial rules. He has also published studies on the genetics, neurobiology, and critical period for learning language, and collaborating on the development of the Google Ngram Viewer, the Global Language Network, and the Natural History of Song. Most recently, his research has begun to investigate the psychology of common knowledge (I know that you know that I know that you know…) and how it illuminates phenomena such as innuendo, euphemism, social coordination, and emotional expression.

In 1994 he published the first of nine books written for a general audience. The Language Instinct was an introduction to all aspects of language, held together by the idea that language is a biological adaptation. This was followed in 1997 by How the Mind Works, which offered a similar synthesis of the rest of the mind, from vision and reasoning to the emotions, humor, and art. In 1999 he published Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language which presented his research on regular and irregular verbs as a way of explaining how language works. In 2002 he published The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, which explored the political, moral, and emotional colorings of the concept of human nature. The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, published in 2007, discussed the ways in which language reveals our thoughts, emotions, and social relationships. In 2011 he published The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. This was followed in 2014 by The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, and Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. His latest, Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters, will be published in September 2021. A collection of his academic articles called Language, Cognition, and Human Nature was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. Pinker frequently writes for the New York Times, the Guardian, Time, The Atlantic, and other magazines on diverse topics including language, consciousness, education, morality, politics, genetics, bioethics, and trends in violence.

Pinker was the Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary and has served as editor or advisor for numerous scientific, scholarly, media, and humanist organizations, including the American Association the Advancement of Science, the National Science Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the Linguistic Society of America. He has won many prizes for his books (including the William James Book Prize three times, the Los Angeles Times Science Book Prize, the Eleanor Maccoby Book Prize, the Cundill Recognition of Excellence in History Award, and the Plain English International Award), his research (including the Troland Research Prize from the National Academy of Sciences, the Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association, the Henry Dale Prize from the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the William James Award from the Association for Psychological Science), and his graduate and undergraduate teaching. He has also been named the Humanist of the Year, Honorary President of the Canadian Psychological Association, Time magazine’s Hundred Most Influential People in the World Today, Foreign Policy’s 100 Global Thinkers, and is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates. In 2021, the website Academic Influence calculated that he was the second-most influential psychologist in the world in the decade 2010-2020.

Pinker lives in Boston and in Truro with Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. The other writers in the family are his stepdaughters Yael Goldstein Love and Danielle Blau, his sister Susan Pinker, his niece Eva Boodman, and his nephews Carl Boodman and Eric Boodman. His brother, Robert, former senior advisor in the government of Canada, lives in Ottawa; his mother, Roslyn, former Vice-Principal of Bialik High School, lives in Montreal.

Dimensions and Characteristics of The Blank Slate PDF

  • Listening Length 22 hours and 40 minutes
    Author Steven Pinker
    Narrator Victor Bevine
    Whispersync for Voice Ready
    Audible.com Release Date December 01, 2009
    Publisher Audible Studios
    Program Type Audiobook
    Version Unabridged
    Language English
    Identification Number B002ZJ1V8E
  • Book Name : The Blank Slate PDF

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Top reviews

Brett Alan Williams “This book is about science and politics. Pinker took on the project this book represents after colleagues told him that little boys are aggressive because they’re socialized to be, teenagers get the idea to compete for appearance thanks to spelling bee awards, and men think sex is desirable because society tells them it is. In other words, humans are born a blank slate, only nurture, not nature, will make them what they are. “This is the mentality of a cult,” writes Pinker, “in which fantastical beliefs are flaunted as proof of one’s piety. This mentality cannot exist with an esteem for truth… [and is] responsible for unfortunate trends… [like] a stated contempt among many scholars for the concepts of truth, logic, and evidence, and the inevitable reaction [of] politically incorrect shock jocks who revel in anti-intellectualism and bigotry, emboldened by the knowledge that the intellectual establishment has forfeited claims of credibility…” Amen to that!

Pinker shows the cult fearful of findings from cognitive science, neuroscience, behavioral genetics, and evolutionary physiology. Why? Because they make the errant assumption that pre-wired humans are incapable of being made moral and humane. Their interpretation of statistics was as certainty, not probability. Hence, what we’re now so familiar with from the Right were long before practiced by the Left. Scientific findings were not only denied and vilified, but scientists who dare desecrate the creed were attacked with smear campaigns, character assassination, and words put in their mouth only to pronounce how wrong they were. Even the likes of paleontologist Steven J. Gould (stunned me), geneticist Richard Lewontin (naturally), and the neuroscientist Steven Rose (daft) were dupes for the movement. This troika and the campus snowflakes they inspired labeled E.O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, and Robert Trivers as genocidal bigots, racists, practitioners of eugenics, Nazis (yawn), and Right-wing prophets of patriarchy (more yawn). All because Wilson et. al. found biology responsible for much of human behavior. (Was this really a surprise?) While Pinker’s focus is social “science” doctrine, not the shock jocks he refers to (Rush Limbaugh etc.), as one reads this book it becomes apparent there’s no difference between the two, other than what they proclaim as sacrosanct and blasphemy.

After a history of the blank slate starting with John Locke, followed by the Great Schism and what the cult is trying to protect, Pinker dives into measurement, data, and reason. The identical twin studies were so pronounced and ironclad, I had to reread them, then check references to believe these clones (which is what twins are) could be so identical in their behavior. That is, twins separated at birth, shipped off to different countries, class structures, learning environments, never to know the other or their common parents, found decades later to have the same behaviors in a myriad of the most nuanced and peculiar ways. Biology matters.

So it is, with the purifying flames of science separated from politically correct programs of pseudo-morality, Pinker burns just about every quasi-religious Postmodernist liberal dogma in the blank slate arena you can name—with the exception of gender-fluidity, not yet concocted. I hope one day he’ll do the same to Creationists and global warming deniers on the Right. What a thrill, and a shame to find even biologists themselves got caught up in the PC creed of our times. It also clarified for me what almost cannot be done in physics and chemistry (except for transparent liars like Ivar Giaever). Biology, several steps up from the closest thing we’ve got to certainty in the foundations of reality, allows for some fiddle-faddle and hoodwink, so long as the promoter has a notable name like Gould. Limbaugh and Creationists love this. Gould, the troika, and their followers deserve their share of credit for the monster they helped create on the Right as a response to this kind of nonsense.”

Marcos “I picked up this book since Richard Dawkins talked about his work with Mr Pinker on his chapter of evolution. Like Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker doesn’t shy away from controversy, and just like Dawkins he’s extremely well educated in his subjects in the smallest of details.

He lights up a giant science blowtorch to both the left and the right’s notions regarding human nature.

As a parent of two children I was particularly interested in his parenting section, where the argument of “nature VS nurture” is torched. Explanations for how a parent does and doesn’t shape their kids are unique, basically he’s saying that parents are less significant than the rest of the environment (country, region, city/town) and what the culture that environment provides. While this might appear a “it takes a village” leftist argument, in reality it’s just a common sense argument that I see every day as a person who left home to move to a different part of the world and after meeting a girl there; watch as my children grow up here and how different they are from me as a child and are more like other children here. Yet at the same time his use of adoption studies and separated twin studies are at once fascinating and also hard to argue against as he explains how much of us is in the genes and not in that environment.

On crime and IQ he dispels moral notions and poses new ones as he explains our newfound ability to determine a person’s pre-disposition to violent or peaceful conflict resolution via brain scans, which he admits should have been expected after the extraordinary 19th century case of Phineas Gage surviving a traumatic brain injury and his behavior change predicted it.

He also tackles race, gender, and many other hot issues.”

Walter Stanley “It is hard to believe that a book which simply asserts that there is such a thing as human nature should even have to be written, let alone considered controversial. Yet as a freshman in college, in the late 60s, as a materialist atheist, I was completely convinced by the behaviorism of B. F. Skinner, as he presented his ideas in Walden II, when he assured readers that even the act of dropping or no dropping a match box was completely determined by one’s previous experiences in life, and that everything that determined who we are was whatever happenstantial events we have encountered in our lives. But since then, I have observed that I have a core personality that is influenced, of course, by the chance events and encounters of my life, but remains independent of them. It does, also, seem to be simply common sense that since genes determine our sex, race, and every physical thing about us, that they would also influence our personality. Everybody who has ever raised a litter of pups knows that each pup has a distinct personality from the beginning, and there is no reason to suppose it could be different for people. It is hard to believe that there are well-educated people who argue that men and women only behave differently because they are have molded into sexual roles by the vagaries of society. There are even people who seriously argued that most important elements of our temperaments were determined by our toilet training, an idea I read, and even once took seriously, expounded in Calvin Hall’s, A Primer of Freudian Psychology. As if Freud had done longitudinal studies of people from their earliest infancy. People can be educated into believing some really silly things!
There are two points Pinker makes which came as something of a surprise. First, that how parents treat their children is not a main determining factor in how they turn out as adults. While at first, it struck me that this was unlikely to be true, as I think about it, it does seem that one’s peers have a far greater effect upon us than our parents. When young, a I agreed with my father, but as I became an adolescent, I gravitated to people far different than him, and it seemed that this was what was natural, and that following my father’s way of looking at things had hindered my becoming myself. The other surprising point, and I’m not totally clear on how this is determined, was Pinker’s claim that a major part of our personality cannot be accounted for by neither our genes nor our experiences in life. So the whole nature vs. nurture debate has been about nothing. So this part of ourselves that seems to be independent of our genes and our environment, from the materialist viewpoint, must result from chance mutations that occur in either developing fetuses, or from minute experiences in life that differ even for identical twins raised in the same family. On the other hand, if there is anything to the notion of reincarnation, then these aspects of our personalities that cannot be accounted for by our genes or life experiences could be accounted for by the formation of our personalities in previous lives. I don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation, and even the Dalai Lama is not totally convinced of it, but I also don’t adamantly deny the possibility.
All in all, reading this book will change the way most readers view the world and themselves. That’s no small feat.”
Jennifer Cox “I’m absolutely fascinated by the topic of human nature and genetic science. Particularly because I feel we’ve been getting the answers so dangerously wrong over the last 50+ years due to ideology, bias, and wishful thinking by all fields of social scientists. There are things we believe to be true just because we want them to be true. And if we don’t have a competent grasp on the facts – then we are trying to solve big problems with very well-intentioned but dangerously wrong solutions. I feel there are incredible salient points within this book’s pages, but I find myself skimming to find them. Pinker, to me, is a wonderful, thorough and thoughtful intellectual, just not an engaging writer and is unnecessarily verbose. In my opinion, the information he is trying to convey is incredibly important and it would be terrific to partner with another author to help disseminate the information in a more creative and illustrative way that is concise and accessible to the general curious public.”
Reference: Wikipedia

The Blank Slate PDF

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