• Corpus ID: 18219030

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

  title={The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature},
  author={Steven Pinker},
  • S. Pinker
  • Published 2002
  • Philosophy, Psychology
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… 
Homo Religiosus : Linnaeus and Beyond with
In The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, Steven Pinker maintains that at present there are three competing views of human nature—a Christian theory, a “blank slate” theory (what I call
Blaming the logic-stricken culture of Western civilization for the bloodshed of World War I, the avant-garde artists of the early twentieth century set out on a quest for alternative cultures. The
I Kill, Therefore I Am: War and Killing as Structures of Human Spirit
This article uncovers the function of war and killing as the primary and primordial formative structure of human spirituality and religious experience. Tracing the representations of war in texts of
Human Nature and the Limits of Blank Slateism
Congratulations, Steven Pinker! Had Darwin ever had such an eloquent bulldog we would all be evolutionists today. Had such intellectual bravery been coupled with such extensive scientific literacy
Saving Original Sin from the Secularists
Nearly five hundred years ago Martin Luther countered Erasmus’ rather optimistic understanding of human nature with his strong language of “bondage of the will.” The landscape, though, has been
Humanism: Progressive Philosophy at Odds with Itself
Humanism is a longstanding intellectual tradition dedicated to moral, aesthetic, and social perfectibility. Classical liberalism and modern libertarianism are products of classical humanist thinking;
Thinking in literature: modernism and contemporary neuroscience
Representing mind: the anti-Cartesianism of the novel In The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002), Stephen Pinker argues that only a recognition of the truths of the new molecular
Bumps on the Head, Touchstones of Intimacy, and the Vulnerability of the Critic
Warnings about fiction, images, and other artifacts are as ancient as Plato, but they have a particular shape in modernity when, broadly put, the question becomes less if they promote virtue than if
Finding the Right Kind of Awe and Wonder: The Metaphysical Potential of Religion to Ground an Environmental Ethic
This paper argues that an anthropocentric fallacy permeates thinking within both technological and ecological approaches to environmentalism. In consequence, sustainable development is an incoherent
"Strange Fevers, Burning Within": The Neurology of Winesburg, Ohio
Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, a modernist collection of interconnected short stories that critics dismissed as Freudian primitivism, is actually an insightful meditation on the emotional basis