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.
Steven Pinker is the best selling author of THE LANGUAGE INSTINCT and HOW THE MIND WORKS. He is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT.
A passionate defence of the enduring power of human nature ... both
life-affirming and deeply satisfying -- Tim Lott * Daily Telegraph,
Books of the Year *
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 *