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11/29/06


Mind Shadows      Steven Pinker on Human Nature

In his book The Blank Slate Steven Pinker challenges the conventional wisdom in terms of what he considers as a denial of human nature. Pinker has a central question:

  • Why are empirical questions about how the mind works so weighed down with political, moral, and emotional baggage?

    From that, other issues follow, such as,

  • Why do people believe that there are dangerous implications from the idea that the mind is a product of the brain, that the brain is organised in part by the genome, and that the genome was shaped by natural selection? He points out that this idea has been met with demonstrations, denunciations, picketing, and comparisons to Nazism, both from the right and from the left. More
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