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The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

by Steven Pinker
New York: Penguin Books, 2003. 528 pages.

"When it comes to explaining human thought and behavior," Pinker writes in his preface, "the possibility that heredity plays any role at all still has the power to shock." In The Blank Slate, he proceeds to articulate, defend, and consider — all with his trademark humor and eye for detail — the implications of "the new view of human nature and culture" that is emerging from cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral genetics, and evolutionary psychology. Eugenie C. Scott writes, "A humane and thoughtful book, The Blank Slate will surprise many who are fearful of the 'consequences' of a biologically informed conception of what it means to be human."