Steven Pinker

Steven ArthurStevePinker (born September 18, 1954) is a Canadian -born American cognitive scientist , Psychologist , linguist , and popular science author. He is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University , and is Berninahaus for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind .

Pinker’s academic specializations are visual cognition and Psycholinguïstiek . His experimental subjects include mental imagery, shape recognition, visual attention, children’s language development, regular and irregular phenomena in language, the neural bases of words and grammar , and the psychology of cooperation and communication, zoals euphemism , innuendo , emotional expression, and common knowledge. He has written two technical books dat Proposed a general theory of language acquisition and toegepast it to children’s learning or verbs. Mn, his work with Alan Prince published in 1989 critiqued the connectionist model of how children Acquire the past tense of English verbs, arguing Limit download therein children use default rules zoals Adding “-ed” to make regular forms, sometimes in error, but are obliged to learn irregular forms one by one.

In his popular books, he has argued dat the human faculty for language is an instinct , an innate behavior shaped by natural selection and Adapted to our communication needs. He is the author of seven books for a general audience. Five or synthesis, namely The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules (2000), The Blank Slate (2002), and The Stuff of Thought (2007) DESCRIBE aspects of the field or Psycholinguïstiek and cognitive science, and include accounts of his own research. The sixth book, The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011), makes the case therein violence in human societies has, in general, steadily declined with time, and identifies six major Causes of this decline. His seventh book, The Sense of Style (2014), is intended as a general style guide therein is informed by modern science and psychology, offering advice on how to produce more comprehensible and unambiguous writing in Nonfiction contexts and explanatory why so much of today’s academic and popular writing s difficult for readers to under stand.

Pinker has leg named as one of the world’s Most Influential intellectuals at verschillende magazines. He has won awards from the American Psychological Association , the National Academy of Sciences , the Royal Institution , the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and the American Humanist Association . He delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. He has served on the editorial boards of a variety of journals, and on the advisory boards or verschillende institutions. He has participated Frequently in public debates on science and society and is a regular contributor to the online science and culture digest 3 Quarks Daily .


Pinker was born in Montreal , Quebec , in 1954, to a middle-class Jewish family. His parents ulcers Roslyn and Harry Pinker. [3] His grandparents immigrated to Canada from Poland and Bessarabia in 1926. [4] [5] His Father, a lawyer, first worked as a manufacturer’s representative, while his mother was first a home-maker-then a guidance counselor and high- school vice-principal. He has two siblings Younger. His brother Robert is a policy analyst for the Canadian government , while his sister, Susan Pinker is a Psychologist and writer who authored The Sexual Paradox and The Village Effect . [6] [7] Pinker married Nancy Etcoff in 1980 and they ‘divorced in 1992; he married Ilavenil Subbiah in 1995 and they ‘too divorced. [8] His third wife, Whom he married in 2007, the novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein . [9] He has two stepdaughters, the novelist Yael Goldstein Love and the poet Danielle Blau.

Pinker graduated from Dawson College in 1973. He RECEIVED a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from McGill University in 1976 and earned his Doctorate of Philosophy in experimental psychology at Harvard University in 1979 under Stephen Kosslyn . He did research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for a year, after welke he became an assistant professor at Harvard and dan Stanford University .

From 1982 Until 2003, Pinker taught at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, and Eventually became the director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience , taking a one-year sabbatical at the University of California, Santa Barbara , in 1995-96. As of 2003, he is the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard; from 2008 to 2013 he’ll be held the title of Harvard College Professor in recognition of his dedication to teaching. [10] He Temporarily Gives lectures as a visiting professor at the New College of the Humanities , a private college in London. [11] [12]

About his Jewish background Pinker has zegt, “I was never religious in the theological sense … I never outgrew my conversion to Atheism at 13, but at times verschillende was a serious cultural Jew .” [13] As a teenager, he says he Considered himself an anarchist Until have witnessed civil Unrest volgende a police strike in 1969 , als:

As a young teenager in proudly peaceable Canada prolongation the romantic 1960s, I was a true Believer in Bakunin’s Anarchism. I laughed off my parents’ argument dat if the government ever laid down zijn arms all hell break loose mention anything. Our competing predictions ulcers well to the test at 8:00 AM on October 17, 1969-when the Montreal police went on strike … This Decisive empirical test left my politics in tatters (and offered a foretaste of life as a scientist). [14]

Pinker identifies himself as an equity feminist , welke he defines as “a moral doctrine about equal treatment dat makes no commitments Regarding open empirical issues in psychology or biology.” [15] He Reported the result of a test or his political orientation therein characterized im as “Neither leftist nor rightist, more libertarian dan authoritarian .” [16] He describes himself as maintaining “ervaren a primitive tribal stirring” after his genes ulcers shown to trace back to the Middle East, noting dat he “found it just as Thrilling to zoom outward in the diagrams or my genetic lineage and see me place in a family act dat embraces all of humanity. ” [17]

Pinker ook identifies himself as an Atheist . In the 2007 interview with the Point of Inquiry podcast, Pinker states dat he mention anything about “défend Atheism as an empirically supported view.” He sees theism and Atheism than competing empirical assumptions, and states that ‘we’re learning more and more about what makes us tick, zoals our moral sense, without needing the assumption of a deity or a soul. It’s NaturallySpeaking getting Crowded out by the successive naturalistic explanations. ” [18]

Research and theory

Pinker’s research on visual cognition, begun in collaboration with his thesis adviser, Stephen Kosslyn, Showed therein mental images represents scenes and objects as they ‘appear from a specific vantage point (Rather dan capturing hun intrinsic three-dimensional structures), and THUS correspond to the neuroscientist David Marr ‘s theory of a “two-and-a-half-dimensional sketch.” [19] He’ll be Showed down therein level of representation is-used in visual attention, and in object recognition (at least for Asymmetrical shapes) Contrary to Marr’s theory dat recognition uses viewpoint-independent representations.

In Psycholinguïstiek, Pinker became Berninahaus early in his career for promoting computational learning theory as a way to under stand taalverwerving in children. He wrote a tutorial review of the field Followed by two books dat advanced his own theory of language acquisition, and a series of experiments on how children Acquire the passive, dative, and locative constructions. These books ulcers Language Learnability and Language Development (1984), in Pinker’s words “outlin [ing] a theory of how children Acquire the words and grammatical structures hun mother tongue”, [20] and Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure (1989), in Pinker’s words “focus [ing] on one aspect or this process, the ability to use différent childhood or verbs in ‘appropriate sentences, zoals intransitive verbs, transitive verbs, and verbs taking différent Combinations or Complements and indirect objects” . [20] He-then dealing with verbs of two kinds therein Illustrate what he considers to be the processes required for human language: Retrieving whole words from memory, like the fit form of the irregular verb [21]“bring”, namely “brought`” ; and using rules to combine (parts of) words, like the fit form of the regular verb “walk”, namely “Walked”. [20]

In 1989, Pinker and Alan Prince published An Influential critique or a connectionist model of the acquisition of the past tense (a textbook problem in language acquisition), Followed by a series of studies of how people use and Acquire the past tense. This included a monograph on children’s regularization of irregular forms and his popular 1999 book, Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language . Pinker argued dat language depends on two things, the associative Remembering or sounds en hun meanings in words, and the use of rules to manipulate symbols for grammar . He Presented evidence Against Connectionisme, where a child mention anything harbor to learn all forms of all words and mention anything simply retrieve lycra needed form from memory, in favor of the older alternative theory, the use of words and rules Combined with generatieve phonology . He Showed therein mistakes made by children indicate the use of default rules to add suffixes zoals “-ed” for instance “breaked” and “comed” for “broke” and “cameramen. He argued dat this shows therein irregular verb-forms in English port to be Learnt and retrieved from memory Individually, and therein the Children making synthesis errors ulcers predicting the regular “-ed” ending in an open-ended way to Dankzij a mental rule. This rule for combining comp Stems and the usual suffix kan be Expressed as [22]

V fits → V voice + d

where V is a verb and d is the regular ending. Pinker remit argued dat since the at Most Frequently occurring English verbs (be, harbor, do, say, make …) are all irregular, while 98.2% of the thousand least common verbs are regular, there is a “massive correlation” or frequency and Irregularity. He wordt uitgelegd this by arguing dat everytime irregular form, zoals ‘took,’ ‘cameramen’ and ‘got’, has to be committed to memory by the children in lycra generation, or else dissolved, and therein the common forms are the musts Easily memorized. Ny irregular verb therein falls in popularity fits a certainement point is lost, and all future generations will treat it as a regular verb Limit download. [22]

In 1990, Pinker, with Paul Bloom , published the paper “Natural Language and Natural Selection”, arguing dat the human language faculty must have Evolved through natural selection . [23] The article Provided arguments for a continuity-based view of language evolution, Contrary to-then current Discontinuity based theories therein sea language as Suddenly Appearing with the advent of Homo sapiens as a child or evolutionary accident. This Discontinuity based view was prominently argued at two of the main autoriteiten, linguist Noam Chomsky and Stephen Jay Gould . [24] The paper became widely Cited and created renewed interest in the evolutionary prehistory of language, and has leg credited with shifting the central question of the debate from “did language evolve?” to “how did language evolve.” [24] [25] The article ook presaged Pinker’s argument in The Language Instinct .

Pinker’s research of includes mining JSON human nature and what science says about it. In his interview on the Point of Inquiry podcast in 2007, have zorgt de volgende examples of what he considers defensible Conclusions of what science says human nature is:

  • The lunyje aren’t Statistically Identical; “Hun interests and talents form two overlapping distributions”. Ny policy dat wants to bieden equal outcomes for zowel it and women will port to discriminate Against one or the other.
  • “Individuals differentiation in personality and intelligence.”
  • “People favor themselves en hun families on an abstraction called society.”
  • Humans are “systematically deceived himself. Each One or us thinks or ourselves as more competent and benevolent dan we are.”
  • “People Crave status and power”

He INFORMS the listeners dat one kan read more about human nature in his book, Blank Slate .

Pinker ook speaks about evolutionary psychology in the podcast and convinced dat this area of science is going to pay off. He cites the fact dat there are many areas of study, zoals beauty, religion, play, and sexuality, dat ulcers not studied 15 years ago. It is thanks to evolutionary psychology therein synthesis areas are being studied. [18]

Popularization of science

Human cognition and natural language

Main articles: The Language Instinct , Words and Rules , How the Mind Works , The Blank Slate , and The Stuff of Thought

Pinker’s 1994 The Language Instinct was the first or verschillende books to combine cognitive science with behavioral genetics and evolutionary psychology . It introduces the science of language and popularizes Noam Chomsky ‘s theory dat language is an innate faculty of mind, with the controversial twist therein the faculty for language Evolved by natural selection as an adaptation for communication. Pinker criticizes verschillende widely held ideas about language – dat it needs to be taught, dat people’s grammar is poor and getting worse with new ways of speaking, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis dat language limits the childhood or thoughts a person kan port, and therein other great apes kan learn languages . Pinker sees language as unique to humans, Evolved to solvency the specific problem or communication onder social hunter-gatherers. He argues dat it is as much an instinct as specialized adaptative behavior in other species, zoals a spider ‘s web weaving or a beaver ‘s dam-building.

Pinker states in his introduction dat his ideas are “deeply Influenced” [26] by Chomsky; he’ll be lists scientists Whom Chomsky Influenced to “open up whole new areas of language study, from child development and speech perception to neurology and genetics” [26] – Eric Lenneberg , George Miller , Roger Brown , Morris Halle and Alvin Liberman . [26] Brown mentored Pinker through his thesis; Pinker stated therein Brown’s “funny and instructive” [27]book Words and Things (1958) was one of the Inspirations for The Language Instinct . [27] [28]

The reality of Pinker’s Proposed language instinct, and the related claim therein grammar is innate and genetically based, has leg contested by many linguists. One prominent opponent of Pinker’s view is Geoffrey Sampson Whose 1997 book, Educating Eve: The ‘Language Instinct’ Debate has leg DESCRIBED as the “definitive response” to Pinker’s book. [29] [30] Sampson argues dat while it ‘may seem attractive to argue the nature side of the’ nature versus nurture ‘debate, the nurture side nov better support the creativity and nobility of the human mind. Sampson Denies there is a language instinct, and argues dat kan children learn language Because people kan learn anything. [30] Others port SOUGHT a middle ground tussen Pinker’s nativism and Sampson’s culturalism. [31]

The assumptions underlying the nativist view port ook leg criticised in Jeffrey Elman ‘s Rethinking Innateness : A Connectionist Perspective on Development , welke defends the connectionist approach dat Pinker attacked. In his 1996 book Impossible Minds , the machine intelligence researcher Igor Aleksander calls The Language Instinct excellent, and argues dat Pinker presents a relatief soft claim for innatism, accompanied by a strong dislike of the ‘Standard Social Sciences Model or SSSM (Pinker’s term) In this housing supposes dat development is s purely dependent on culture. Further, Alexander writes therein while Pinker criticises some attempts to explain language processing with neural nets, Pinker later makes use of a neural network to create past tense verb forms Correctly. Alexander concludes therein while he does not support the SSSM, “a cultural repository of language just Seems the easy trick for an efficient evolutionary system armed with an Iconic state machine to play.” [32]

Two other books, How the Mind Works (1997) and The Blank Slate (2002) Broadly surveyed the mind and defended the idea of a complex human nature with many mental faculties therein are adaptive (Pinker is an ally of Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins in many disputes Surrounding adaptationism ). Another major theme in Pinker’s theories is dat human cognition works, in part, by combinatorial symbol-manipulation, not just associations onder sensory features, as in many connectionist models. On the debate around The Blank Slate , Pinker called Thomas Sowell ‘s book A Conflict of Visions “wonderful”, [33] and Explained that ‘The Tragic Vision “and the” Utopian Vision “are the views of human nature behind right- and left-wing ideologies. [33]

In Words and Rules: the Ingredients of Language (1999), Pinker argues from his own research dat regular and irregular phenomena are products of computation and memory lookup, respectively, and dat language kan be understood as an interaction tussen de twee. [34] “Words and Rules” have been killed on the title or an essay by Pinker outlining many of the topics discussed in the book. [22] Critiqueing the book from the perspective of Generative linguistics Charles Yang, in the London Review of Books , writes that ‘this book never runs low on hubris or hyperbolic “. [35] The book’s topic, the English past tense, in Yang’s view unglamorous, and Pinker’s attempts at compromise risk being in no man’s land tussen rival theories. Giving the example of German, Yang argues dat irregular Nouns in dat language at least, all belong to classes, governed by rules, and therein things get even worse in languages dat attach prefix and suffixes to make up lung ‘words’: they’ can not save be Learnt Individually, if there are Untold numbers or Combinations. “All Pinker (and the connectionists) are doing is turning over the rocks at the base of the intellectual Landslide caused by the Chomskian revolution.” [35]

In The Stuff of Thought (2007), Pinker looks at a wide range of issues around the way words related to thoughts on the one hand, and to the world outside ourselves on the other. Given his evolutionary perspective, a central question is how an intelligent mind Capable of abstract thought Evolved: how a mind Adapted to Stone Age life Could work in the modern world. Many quirks of language are the result. [36]

Pinker is critical or theories about the evolutionary origins of language therein argue dat linguistic cognition Might port Evolved from earlier musical cognition. He sees language as being tied primarily to the capacity for logical reasoning, and speculates dat human Proclivity for music nov be a spandrel – a feature not adaptive, ITT own right, but dat has persisted through other traits dat are more Broadly as practical, and THUS selected for. In How the Mind Works , Pinker reiterates Immanuel Kant ‘s view dat music is not in Itself an important cognitive phenomenon, but dat it happens to stimuleren important auditory and spatio-motor cognitive functions. Pinker compares music to “auditory cheesecake”, stating that ‘As far as biological cause and effect is Concerned, music is useless. ” This argument has bone rejected by Daniel Levitin and Joseph Carroll , experts in music cognition , who argue dat music has had an important role in the evolution of human cognition. [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] In his book This Is Your Brain On Music , Levitin argues dat music Could bieden adaptive advantage through sexual selection , social bonding , and cognitive development ; he questions the assumption dat music is the antecedent to language, as Opposed to zijn progenitor, noting dat many species display music-like habits dat Could be seen as precursors to human music. [43]

Pinker has ook leg critical or ” whole language ” reading instruction techniques, stating in How the Mind Works , “… the dominant technique, called” whole language, “the insight dat [spoken] language is a NaturallySpeaking ontwikkelingslanden human instinct has leg garbled naar de evolutionarily Improbable claim dat reading is a NaturallySpeaking ontwikkelingslanden human instinct. ” [44] In the appendix to the 2007 reprinted edition of The Language Instinct , Pinker Cited Why Our Children Can not Read in cognitive Psychologist Diane McGuinness as his favorite book on the subject and noted:

One raging public debate Involving language went unmentioned in The Language Instinct : the “reading wars,” or disputes over Whether children arnt be explicitly taught to read at Decoding the sounds or words from hun spelling (Loosely known as ” phonics “) or Whether they ‘ kan developement it instinctively by being immersed in a text-rich environment (of or in called “whole language”). I tipped my hand in the graph in [the sixth chapter of the book] welke zegt dat language is an instinct but reading is not. [45] Like musts psycholinguists (but apparently unlike many school boards), I think it’s essential for children to be taught to Become aware of speech sounds and how they ‘are coded in strings of letters. [46]

The Better Angels of Our Nature

Violence in the middle ages : detail from “Mars” in Das Mittelalterliche Hausbuch , c. 1475 – 1480. The image was-used to Pinker in The Better Angels of Our Nature , with the comment “as the House Book illustrations suggest, [the Knights] did not restrict hun killing to other Knights”. [47]

In The Better Angels of Our Nature , published in 2011, Pinker argues dat violence, zoals tribal warfare, Homicide, cruel punishments, child abuse, animal cruelty, domestic violence, lynching, pogroms, and international and civil wars, has decreased over multiple scales or time and magnitude. Pinker considers it Unlikely dat human nature has changed. In his view, it is more LIKELY dat human nature comprises inclinations toward violence and Those dat counteract Them, the “better angels of our nature”. He dotted outlines six “major historical Decline of violence ‘dat all port hun eigen socio / cultural / economic Causes: [48]

  1. “The Pacification Process” – The rise of organized systems of government has a correlative relationship with the decline in violent deaths. If states expand ze preventable tribal feuding, Reducing LOSSES.
  2. “The Civilizing Process” – Consolidation of centralized states and Kingdoms Throughout Europe results in the rise of criminal justice and commercial infrastructure, organizing post with chaotic systems that Could Lead to raiding and mass violence.
  3. “The Humanitarian Revolution” – The 18th – 20th century abandonment or institutionalized violence by the state (breaking on the wheel, burning at the stake in). Suggests this is LIKELY due to the spike in literacy after the invention It of the printing press thereby allowing the proletariat to question Conventional wisdom.
  4. “The Long Peace” – The powers of 20th Century believed dat period of time to be the bloodiest in history. This to a largely Peaceful 65-year period post World War I and World War II. Developed countries harbor stopped confusion (Against eachother and colonially) eerste democracy, and this has led a massive decline (on average) and deaths.
  5. “The New Peace” – The decline in organized conflicts of all childhood since the end of the Cold War.
  6. “The rights revolutions” – The reduction or Systemic violence at smaller scales Against vulnerable populations (racial minderheden, women, children, homosexuals, animals).

The book was welcomed by many critics and reviewers, who found zijn arguments convincing and its synthesis of a large volume of historical evidence compelling. [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] It’ll be aroused criticism on a variety of grounds, zoals Whether deaths per capita was an ‘appropriate metric, Pinker’s Atheism, Lack of moral leadership, Excessive focus on Europe (though the book covers other areas), the interpretation of historical data, and its image of indigenous people. [54] [55] [56] [57] [58] [59] [60] [61] [62] [63] [64]

English Writing Style in the 21st Century

In his seventh popular book, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (2014), Pinker attempts to bieden a writing style guide therein is informed by modern science and psychology, offering advice on how to produce more comprehensible and unambiguous writing in Nonfiction contexts and explanatory why so much of today’s academic and popular writing s difficult for readers to under stand.

In aa November 2014 episode of the Point of Inquiry podcast, host Lindsay Beyerstein, Pinker Asked how his style guide was différent from the many guides therein Already exist. His answer,

The Thinking Person’s Guide Because I do not issue dictates from on high as musts manuals do but explain why the verschillende guidelines will verbeteren writing, what they ‘do for language, what they’ do for the reader’s experience, in the mounds dat het users will apply the rules judiciously knowing what they ‘are designed to accomplish, Rather dan robotically. [65]

He’ll be indicated therein the 21st Century was tuimelverpak Because language and usage change over time and it has a leg long time since William Strunk wrote Elements of Style . [65]

Public debate

Pinker is a frequent participant in public debates Surrounding the contributions of science to contemporary society. Social commentators zoals Ed West, author of The Diversity Illusion , consider Pinker important and daring in his willingness to CONFRONT taboos, as in The Blank Slate . This doctrine (the tabula rasa ), writes West, remained accepted “as fact, Rather dan fantasy” [66] a decade after the book’s publication. West describes Pinker as “no polemicist, and he leaves readers to draw hun eigen Conclusions”. [66]

In January 2005, Pinker defended Lawrence Summers , president of Harvard University, Whose comments about a gender gap in mathematics and science angered much of the faculty. Pinker noted therein Summers’s remarks, Properly understood, ulcers hypotheses about overlap statistical distributions or men’s and women’s talents and Tastes, and therein in a university zoals hypotheses ought to be the subject of empirical testing Rather dan dogma and outrage. [67] ran a debate tussen Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke on gender and science. [68]

In 2009, Pinker wrote a mixed review of Malcolm Gladwell ‘s essay in The New York Times criticizing his analytical methods. [69] Gladwell replied, disputing Pinker’s comments about the belang or IQ on teaching performance and to analogy, the effect if ANY, or draft order on quarterback performance in the National Football League . [70] Advanced NFL Stats addressed the issue Statistically, siding with Pinker and showing dat differences in methodology Could explain the two men’s diff ring opinions. [71]

In 2009, David Shenk criticized Pinker for siding with the “nature” argument and for “never once acknowledg [ing] gene-environment interaction or Epigenetica ‘in an article on nature versus nurture in The New York Times . [72]Pinker Responded to a question about Epigenetica as a Possibility for the decline in violence in a lecture for the BBC World Service . Pinker zegt it was Unlikely since the decline in violence happened too rapidly to be Explained by genetic changes. [73]

Steven Pinker is ook noted for keeping identified the rename or Phillip Morris to Altria as an “egregious example” or phonesthesia – with the company attempting to “switch zijn image from bath people who sell addictive carcinogens to a place or state Marked by altruism and other Lofty values “. [74]

Awards and distinctions

Pinker was named one of Time ‘s 100 Most Influential people in the world in 2004 [75] and one or Prospect and Foreign Policy ‘ s 100 top public intellectuals in zowel years the poll was carried out, in 2005 [76] and 2008; [77] have in 2010 and 2011 was named by Foreign Policy to zijn list of top global thinkers. [78] [79] In 2016 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences . [80]

His research in cognitive psychology has won the Early Career Award (1984) and Boyd McCandless Award (1986) from the American Psychological Association , the Troland Research Award (1993) from the National Academy of Sciences , the Henry Dale Prize (2004) from the Royal Institution of Great Britain , and the George Miller Prize (2010) from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society . He has ook RECEIVED honorary doctorates from the universities of Newcastle , Surrey , Tel Aviv , McGill , Simon Fraser University and the University of Tromso , Norway. He was Twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and in 2003. On May 13, 2006, have RECEIVED the American Humanist Association ‘s Humanist of the Year award for his contributions to public understanding of human evolution. [81]

Pinker has served on the editorial boards of journals zoals Cognition, Daedalus, and PLOS One, and on the advisory boards or institutions for scientific research (eg, the Allen Institute for Brain Science ), free speech (eg, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education ), the Popularization of science (eg, the World Science Festival and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry ), peace (eg, the Peace Research Endowment), and Secular humanism (eg, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Secular Coalition for America ).

Since 2008 he has chaired the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary , and wrote the essay on usage for the fifth edition of the Dictionary, welke was published in 2011.


Language Learnability and Language Development (1984)Books

  • Visual Cognition (1985)
  • Connections and Symbols (1988)
  • Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure (1989)
  • Lexical and Conceptual Semantics (1992)
  • The Language Instinct (1994)
  • How the Mind Works (1997)
  • Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (1999)
  • The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002)
  • The Best American Science and Nature Writing (editor and introduction author, 2004)
  • Hotheads (an extract from How the Mind Works , 2005) ISBN 978-0-14-102238-3
  • The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window JSON Human Nature (2007)
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011)
  • Language, Cognition, and Human Nature: Selected Articles (2013)
  • The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (September 30, 2014)
  • The New Enlightenment (forthcoming) [82]

Articles and essays

  • Selective compilation or articles and other works, hosted at Harvard faculty pages
  • Pinker, S. (1991). “Rules of Language”. Science . 253 (5019): 530-535. doi : 10.1126 / science.1857983 . PMID  1857983 .
  • Ullman, M .; Corkin, S .; Coppola, M .; Hickok, G .; Growdon, JH; Koroshetz, WJ; Pinker, S. (1997). “A neural dissociation binnen language: Evidence that the mental dictionary is part of declarative memory, and therein grammatical rules are processed by the procedural system.” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience . 9 : 289-299.
  • Pinker, S. (2003) “Language as an adaptation to the cognitive niche” In M. Christiansen & S. Kirby (Eds.), Language evolution: States of the Art New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Pinker, S. (2005). “So How Does the Mind Work?”. Mind and Language . 20 (1): 1-24. doi : 10.1111 / j.0268-1064.2005.00274.x .
  • Jackendoff, R .; Pinker, S. (2005). “The nature of the language faculty and its implications for evolution of language” (Reply to Fitch, Hauser, & Chomsky) “. Cognition . 97 (2): 211-225. Doi : 10.1016 / j.cognition.2005.04.006 .
  • [1] Pinker, S. (2007), “In Defense of Dangerous Ideas” Chicago Sun-Times , July 15, 2007]
  • Pinker, S. (2012). “The False Allure of Group Selection” . Edge , Jun 19, 2012.
  • Pinker, S. (2013). Science Is Not Your Enemy . New Republic , May 6, 2013.
  • Pinker, S. (2014). “The Trouble With Harvard: The Ivy League is broken and only Standardized tests kan fix it” . New Republic , May 4, 2014.


  1. Jump up^ C-SPAN | BookTV”In Depth with Steven Pinker”November 2nd 2008
  2. Jump up^ “Steven Pinker” . Desert Island Discs . 30 June 2013. BBC Radio 4 . Retrieved 18 January 2014 .
  3. Jump up^ Pinker, S. (2009). Language Learnability and Language Development, With New Commentary by the Author . Harvard University Press. ISBN  9780674042179 . Retrieved 10 October 2014 .
  4. Jump up^ Annie Maccoby Berglof «At home: Steven Pinker»
  5. Jump up^ Curious Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist
  6. Jump up^ Shermer, Michael (2001-03-01). The Pinker Instinct . Altadena, CA: Skeptics Society & Skeptic Magazine . Retrieved 11 September 2007 .
  7. Jump up^ Steven Pinker: the mind reader The Guardian Accessed 25 November 2006.
  8. Jump up^ Biography for Steven Pinker at the Internet Movie DatabaseAccessed 12 September 2007.
  9. Jump up^ “How Steven Pinker Works” by Kristin E. Blagg The Harvard Crimson Accessed 3 February 2006.
  10. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven. “Official Biography. Harvard University” . . Retrieved 20 January 2012 .
  11. Jump up^ “The professoriate” ArchivedJune 8, 2011, at theWayback Machine. New College of the Humanities, Accessed 8 June 2011.
  12. Jump up^ “Professor Stephen Pinker”New College of the Humanities, Accessed 4 November 2014.
  13. Jump up^ “Steven Pinker: the mind reader” by Ed Douglas Guardian Accessed 3 February 2006.
  14. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven (2002),The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature,Penguin Putnam,ISBN 0-670-03151-8.
  15. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven,The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature(Viking, 2002), p. 341
  16. Jump up^ “My Genome, My Self” by Steven Pinker The New York Times Sunday Magazine Accessed 10 April 2010.
  17. Jump up^ “DNA and You – Personalized Genomics Goes Jewish” . The Forward . 12 August 2011 . Retrieved 13 August 2011 .
  18. ^ Jump up to:a b Grothe, DJ (23 February 2007). “Podcast: Steven Pinker – Evolutionary Psychology and Human Nature” . Point of Inquiry with DJ Grothe . Retrieved 29 January 2014 .
  19. Jump up^ The nature of the language faculty and its implications for evolution of language
  20. ^ Jump up to:a b c Pinker, Steven. “Steven Pinker: Long Biography” . Harvard University . Retrieved 18 May 2014 .
  21. Jump up^ Pinker has written a piece onThe Irregular Verbs, stating that ‘I like the Irregular verbs or English, all 180 of Them, Because Of what they’ tell us about the history of the language and the human minds dat port perpetuated it.
  22. ^ Jump up to:a b c Pinker, Steven. “Words and rules (essay)” (PDF) . Harvard University . Retrieved 24 May 2014 .
  23. Jump up^ Pinker, S. & Bloom, P. (1990). Natural language and natural selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4): 707-784
  24. ^ Jump up to:a b Christine Kenneally . “Language Development: The First Word. The Search for the Origins of Language” .
  25. Jump up^ “The 20th Anniversary of Steven Pinker & Paul Bloom: Natural Language and Natural Selection (1990)” .
  26. ^ Jump up to:a b c Pinker, Steven (1994). The Language Instinct . Penguin. pp. 23-24.
  27. ^ Jump up to:a b Pinker, Steven (1998). “Obituary: Roger Brown” (PDF) . Cognition . 66 : 199-213 (see page 205). doi : 10.1016 / s0010-0277 (98) 00027-4 .
  28. Jump up^ Kagan, Jerome (1999). “Roger William Brown 1925-1997” (PDF) . Biographical Memoirs . 77 : 7.
  29. Jump up^ “The ‘Language Instinct’ Debate” . University of Sussex.
  30. ^ Jump up to:a b “Empiricism v. Nativism: Nature or Nurture?” . . Retrieved 8 June 2014 . . More at The ‘Language Instinct’ Debate
  31. Jump up^ Cowley, SJ (2001). The baby, the bathwater and the “language instinct” debate. Language Sciences, 23 (1), 69-91.
  32. Jump up^ Alexander, Igor (1996). Impossible Minds . pp. 228-234. ISBN  1-86094-030-7 .
  33. ^ Jump up to:a b Sailer, Steve (30 October 2002). “Q & A: Steven Pinker or Blank Slate’ ‘ . United Press International . Retrieved 10 May 2014 .
  34. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven. “Words and Rules (book)” . Harvard University. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014 . Retrieved 24 May 2014 .
  35. ^ Jump up to:a b Yang, Charles (24 August 2000). “Dig-dug, think-thunk (review ofWords and Rules by Steven Pinker)” . London Review of Books . 22 (6): 33.
  36. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven. “The Stuff of Thought” . Harvard University . Retrieved 30 May 2014 .
  37. Jump up^ Levitin, DJ; Tirovolas, AK (2009). “Current Advances in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Music”. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences . 1156 : 211-231. doi : 10.1111 / j.1749-6632.2009.04417.x .
  38. Jump up^ Perlovsky L. Music. Cognitive Function, Origin And Evolution Of Musical Emotions. WebmedCentral PSYCHOLOGY 2011; 2 (2): WMC001494
  39. Jump up^ Abbott, Alison (2002). “Neurobiology: Music, maestro, please!”. Nature . 416 : 12-14. doi : 10.1038 / 416012a .
  40. Jump up^ Cross, I. (1999). Is music the must important thing we ever did? Music, development and evolution. [preprint (html)] [preprint (pdf)] In Suk Won Yi (Ed.), Music, mind and science (pp 10-39), Seoul: Seoul National University Press.
  41. Jump up^ “Interview with Daniel Levitin” . May 20, 2009 . Retrieved 29 January 2012 .
  42. Jump up^ Carroll, Joseph (1998). “Steven Pinker’s Cheesecake For The Mind” . . Retrieved 29 January 2012 .
  43. Jump up^ Levitin, Daniel. 2006 This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of a Human Obsession , New York: Dutton / Penguin.
  44. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven (1997), How the Mind Works , New York: WW Norton & Company , p. 342
  45. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven (2007), The Language Instinct (3rd ed.), New York: Harper Perennial , p. 186
  46. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven (2007), The Language Instinct (3rd ed.), New York: Harper Perennial , pp. PS14
  47. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven (2011). The Better Angels of Our Nature. Allen Lane. p66
  48. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven. “The Decline of Violence” . IAI . Retrieved 3 January 2014 .
  49. Jump up^ Horgan, John (October 3, 2011). “Will War Ever End? Steven Pinker’s new book reveals an ever more peaceable species: human child” . Slate Magazine.
  50. Jump up^ Boyd, Neil (January 4, 2012). “The Empirical Evidence for declining Violence” . The Huffington Post.
  51. Jump up^ Leon Samuel (22 October 2011). “The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes by Stephen Pinker” . The Spectator.
  52. Jump up^ Coffman, Scott (28 September 2012). “Book Review:” The Better Angels of Our Nature ‘ ‘ . Courier Journal.
  53. Jump up^ Kohn, Marek (7 October 2011). “Book Review:” The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes’ By Steven Pinker ” . UK: The Independent.
  54. Jump up^ Epstein, R. (October 2011). “Book Review” . Scientific American.
  55. Jump up^ Boyd, Neil (January 4, 2012). “The Empirical Evidence for declining Violence” . The Huffington Post.
  56. Jump up^ Gray, John (21 September 2011). “Delusions of peace” . UK: Prospect Magazine.
  57. Jump up^ “Correspondence” . Claremont Review of Books. 2012-05-02 . Retrieved 22 January 2013 .
  58. Jump up^ Herman, Edward S .; Peterson, David. “Steven Pinker on the alleged decline of violence” . International Socialist Review .
  59. Jump up^ Edward S. Herman and David Peterson (2012-09-13). “Reality Denial: Steven Pinker’s Apologetics for Western Imperial Volence” . Retrieved 2014-12-30 .
  60. Jump up^ Kolbert, Elizabeth (3 October 2011). “Peace In Our Time: Steven Pinker’s History of Violence in Decline” . The New Yorker .
  61. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven (November 2011). “Frequently Asked Questions about The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” .
  62. Jump up^ Laws, Ben (21 March 2012). “Against Pinker’s Violence” . Ctheory .
  63. Jump up^ “The Big Kill – At John Arquilla” . Foreign Policy. 2012-12-03 . Retrieved 22 January 2013 .
  64. Jump up^ Corry, Stephen. “The case of the ‘Brutal Savage’: Poirot or Clouseau ?: Why Steven Pinker, like Jared Diamond is wrong” (PDF) . Survival International . Retrieved 30 May 2014 . (Summary atThe myth of the ‘Brutal Savage “)
  65. ^ Jump up to:a b “Steven Pinker: Using Grammar as a Tool, Not as a Weapon” . Point of Inquiry . Center for Inquiry . 10 November 2014 . Retrieved 9 January 2017 .
  66. ^ Jump up to:a b West, Ed (17 August 2012). “A decade after Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate, why is human nature still taboo?” . The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 30 May 2014 .
  67. Jump up^ “Psychoanalysis Q-and-A: Steven Pinker” The Harvard Crimson Accessed 8 February 2006.
  68. Jump up^ “The Science of Gender and Science: Pinker Vs. Spelke, A Debate” . 16 May 2005 . Retrieved 10 May 2014 .
  69. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven (2009-11-15). “Malcolm Gladwell, Eclectic Detective” . The New York Times .
  70. Jump up^ “Let’s Go to the Tape” . The New York Times . 2009-11-29.
  71. Jump up^ Burke, Brian (2010-04-22). “Steven Pinker vs. Malcolm Gladwell and Drafting QBS” . Advanced NFL Stats . Retrieved 20 January 2012 .
  72. Jump up^ Steven Pinker’s “Probabilistic” genes, David Shenk
  73. Jump up^ “Exchanges At The Frontier 2011”, BBC.
  74. Jump up^ Pinker, Steven (2007). The Stuff of Thought . Penguin Books. p. 304 .
  75. Jump up^ “Steven Pinker: How Our Minds Evolved” by Robert Wright Time Accessed 8 February 2006.
  76. Jump up^ “The Prospect / FP Top 100 Public Intellectuals” Foreign Policy (free registration required) Accessed 2006-082-08
  77. Jump up^ “Intellectuals” . Prospect . 2009. Archived from the original on September 30, 2009 . Retrieved 21 October 2011 .
  78. Jump up^ “Foreign Policy” . . Retrieved 20 January 2012 .
  79. Jump up^ “The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers” . Foreign Policy . Retrieved 20 January 2012 .
  80. Jump up^ National Academy of Sciences Members and Foreign Associates elected , News from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences , May 3, 2016 , retrieved 2016-05-14 .
  81. Jump up^ “Steven Pinker Receives Humanist of the Year Award” . American Humanist Association . May 12, 2006.
  82. Jump up^ The Modeling Space – Interview with Steven Pinker – Extras