THE BLANK SLATE: THE MODERN DENIAL OF HUMAN NATURE
Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
Jumping fearlessly into an intellectual briar patch, MIT scholar Pinker mounts a spirited assault on what he views as our dangerously shortsighted conceptions of human nature. To wit: The inherent flaws in such long-held dogmas as Locke’s tabula rasa of the title (too rigorously empirical), Rousseau’s Noble Savage (too idealistically romantic), and Descartes’ Ghost in the Machine (too simplistically dualistic) have led to morally diffuse justifications for misguided social engineering (from child rearing to genocide) and must give way to a new approach that applies the rigidity of scientific analysis. Lively and provocative, this challenging tome is recommended to anyone curious enough to have actually made it to the end of this review.