"The Blank Slate"

MIT, Cambridge, MA

Our conceptions of human nature affect every aspect of our lives, from the way we raise our children to the political movements we embrace. Yet just as science is bringing us into a golden age of understanding human nature, many people are hostile to the very idea. They fear that a biological understanding of the mind will be used to justify inequality, subvert social change, and dissolve personal responsibility and strip life of meaning and purpose.

In The Blank Slate Pinker retraces the history that led people to view human nature as dangerous, and unsnarls the moral and political debates that have entangled the idea along the way.

Steven Pinker is introduced by Samuel Jay Keyser, Peter de Florez Emeritus Professor at MIT, Linguistics and Philosophy faculty. http://web.mit.edu/keyser/www/

In his introduction, Keyser describes Pinker as the "new age guru for the machinery of thought".

Watch the video of this event.