Publications

2014
<p>The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century</p>
Pinker, S. (2014).

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century

. New York: Penguin.Abstract
“Every writer can profit from—and every reader can enjoy—Pinker’s analysis of the ways in which skillfully chosen words engage the mind.” --Publishers Weekly                                                                                                                                                                                                           Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Do people write badly on purpose, to bamboozle their readers with highfalutin gobbledygook? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Should we bring back the lost art of diagramming sentences? Have dictionaries abandoned their responsibility to safeguard correct usage? Do the kids today even care about good writing? Why should any of us care? In this entertaining and  instructive book, the bestselling cognitive scientist, linguist, and writer Steven Pinker rethinks the usage guide for the 21st century. Rather than moaning about the decline of the language, carping over pet peeves, or recycling spurious edicts from the rulebooks of a century ago, he applies insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear, coherent, and stylish prose. Don’t blame the Internet, he says, or the kids today;  good writing has always been hard. It begins with  savoring the good prose of others. It requires an act of imagination: maintaining the illusion that one is directing a reader’s gaze to something in the world. A writer must overcome the Curse of Knowledge—the difficulty we all have in imagining what it’s like not to know something we know. Skillful writers must be sensitive to the ways in which syntax converts a tangled web of ideas into a linear string of words. They must weave their prose into a coherent whole, with one sentence flowing into the next. And they must negotiate the rules of correct usage, distinguishing the rules that enhance clarity and grace from the myths and superstitions (and thus should not be afraid to boldly split their infinitives). Filled with examples of great and gruesome modern prose, and avoiding the scolding tone and Spartan tastes of the classic manuals, Pinker shows how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery and a fascinating intellectual topic in its own right. The Sense of Style is for writers of all kinds, and for readers who are interested in letters and literature and curious about the ways in which the sciences of mind can illuminate how language works at its best.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Mind Games

. (2014).

Mind Games

. The New York Times.
2013
Gleditsch, N. P., Pinker, S., Thayer, B. A., Levy, J. S., & Thompson, W. R. (2013). The Forum: The Decline of War. International Studies Review, 15, 396-419. intl_studies_review.pdf
Pinker, S. (2013). Obituaries - George A. Miller. American Psychologist, 68(6), 467-468.
<p>Language, Cognition, and Human Nature: Selected Articles</p>
Pinker, S. (2013).

Language, Cognition, and Human Nature: Selected Articles

. New York: Oxford University Press.
Chabris, C. F., Lee, J. J., Benjamin, D. J., Beauchamp, J. P., Glaeser, E. L., Borst, G., Pinker, S., et al. (2013). Why It Is Hard to Find Genes Associated With Social Science Traits: Theoretical and Empirical Considerations. American Journal of Public Health, 103(No. S1), 152-166.
Pinker, S. (2013). "The Decline of War and Conceptions of Human Nature" in The Forum: The Decline of War. International Studies Review, 15(3), 400-405. pdf
Pinker, S. (2013). Science is not your enemy. New Republic. science_is_not_your_enemy.pdf
Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure
Pinker, S. (2013). Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure (New Edition.). Cambridge: The MIT Press.
2012
Pinker, S. (2012). Why Are States So Red and Blue?. The New York Times. presented at the 10/24/2012. Website
Pinker, S. (2012). The Coach Who Never Paid Retail. Slate. Website
Pinker, S. (2012). The Long Peace: Systematic Trends and Unknown Unknowns. Global Trends 2030. presented at the August 17, 2012. Website
Pinker, S. (2012). Reply to commentators. Edge. presented at the July 12, 2012. Website
Pinker, S. (2012). The false allure of group selection. Edge. presented at the June 18, 2012. Website
Pinker, S. (2012). Violence doesn't work (most of the time). The Atlantic, (July/August). Website
Pinker, S. (2012). False Fronts in the Language Wars. Slate. presented at the 05/31/2012. Website
Pinker, S. (2012). To See Humans' Progress, Zoom Out. The New York Times. presented at the 02/26/2012. Website
2011
Goldstein, J., & Pinker, S. (2011). War Really Is Going Out of Style. The New York Times Sunday Review. presented at the 12/17/2011. Website
Pinker, S. (2011). Taming the Devil within Us. Nature, 478, 309-311. PDF
Pinker, S. (2011). If I ruled the world: Steven Pinker. Prospect Magazine. presented at the Oct. 19, 2011.