The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature is a book written by Steven Pinker. The book was published in 2002 and it has been the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In his book, the author talks about how evolutionary psychology shapes the behavior of humans and how they react to several things in life.
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In his book, the author talks of three dogmas that have led the foundation for perspective or human behavior. The first is the blank slate according to which human brain has no innate traits. The second says that humans are all born good and they are made evil throughout their life due to different factors. The third one is that human beings have a soul inside them that makes decisions for them. There is no link to decision making with biology.
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- In his book, he talks about how people always have fear of something. For example, people have fear of inequality and fear of imperfectability.
- He gives examples from politics to explain his point about human brain’s working. He says that the right politics would be if people’s rights were taken into consideration.
Table of Contents:
- pt. 1. 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
- pt. 2. Fear and loathing
- Political scientists
- The holy trinity
- pt. 3. Human nature with a human face
- The fear of inequality
- The fear of imperfectibility
- The fear of determinism
- The fear of nihilism
- pt 4. Know thyself
- In touch with reality
- Out of our depths
- The many roots of our suffering
- The sanctimonious animal
- pt. 5. Hot buttons
- The arts
- pt. 6. The voice of the species
- Appendix: Donald E. Brown’s list of human universals.
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