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Atrocities: The 100 Deadliest Episodes in Human History

by Steven Pinker Matthew White

"An amusing (really) account of the murderous ways of despots, slave traders, blundering royals, gladiators and assorted hordes."--New York Times Evangelists of human progress meet their opposite in Matthew White's epic examination of history's one hundred most violent events, or, in White's piquant phrasing, "the numbers that people want to argue about." Reaching back to the Second Persian War in 480 BCE and moving chronologically through history, White surrounds hard facts (time and place) and succinct takeaways (who usually gets the blame?) with lively military, social, and political histories.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2004

by Steven Pinker

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2004, edited by Steven Pinker, is another "provocative and thoroughly enjoyable [collection] from start to finish" (Publishers Weekly). Here is the best and newest on science and nature.

The Better Angels of Our Nature

by Steven Pinker

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year The author of The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence. Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives- the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away-and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

by Steven Pinker

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year. The author of The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence. Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened? This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives-- the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away--and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

by Steven Pinker

Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?<P><P> This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives- the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away-and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.<P> Chosen for Mark Zuckerberg's "A Year of Books"

The Blank Slate

by Steven Pinker

In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

The Blank Slate

by Steven Pinker

In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

The Blank Slate

by Steven Pinker

In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

by Steven Pinker

The Blank Slate shows how many intellectuals have denied the existence of human nature by embracing three linked dogmas: the Blank Slate, the Noble Savage, and the Ghost in the Machine. Each dogma carries a moral burden, so their defenders have engaged in desperate tactics to discredit the scientists who are now challenging them.

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

by Steven Pinker

In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

How the Mind Works

by Steven Pinker

"A model of scientific writing: erudite, witty, and clear." --New York Review of Books In this Pulitzer Prize finalist and national bestseller, one of the world's leading cognitive scientists tackles the workings of the human mind. What makes us rational--and why are we so often irrational? How do we see in three dimensions? What makes us happy, afraid, angry, disgusted, or sexually aroused? Why do we fall in love? And how do we grapple with the imponderables of morality, religion, and consciousness? ?How the Mind Works? synthesizes the most satisfying explanations of our mental life from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and other fields to explain what the mind is, how it evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel, laugh, interact, enjoy the arts, and contemplate the mysteries of life. This new edition of Pinker's bold and buoyant classic is updated with a new foreword by the author.

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

by Steven Pinker

In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.

Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure (new edition)

by Steven Pinker

Before Steven Pinker wrote bestsellers on language and human nature, he wrote severaltechnical monographs on language acquisition that have become classics in cognitive science. Learnability and Cognition, first published in 1989, brought together two bigtopics: how do children learn their mother tongue, and how does the mind represent basic categoriesof meaning such as space, time, causality, agency, and goals? The stage for this synthesis was setby the fact that when children learn a language, they come to make surprisingly subtle distinctions:pour water into the glass and fill the glass with water soundnatural, but pour the glass with water and fill water into theglass sound odd. How can this happen, given that children are not reliably corrected foruttering odd sentences, and they don't just parrot back the correct ones they hear from theirparents? Pinker resolves this paradox with a theory of how children acquire the meaning and uses ofverbs, and explores that theory's implications for language, thought, and the relationship betweenthem. As Pinker writes in a new preface, "The Secret Life of Verbs," thephenomena and ideas he explored in this book inspired his 2007 bestseller The Stuff ofThought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. These technical discussions, he notes,provide insight not just into language acquisition but into literary metaphor, scientificunderstanding, political discourse, and even the conceptions of sexuality that go intoobscenity.

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers

by Steven Pinker

At its heart, mathematics is about numbers, our fundamental tools for understanding the world. In Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers, Ian Stewart offers a delightful introduction to the numbers that surround us, from the common (Pi and 2) to the uncommon but no less consequential (1. 059463 and 43,252,003,274,489,856,000). Along the way, Stewart takes us through prime numbers, cubic equations, the concept of zero, the possible positions on the Rubik's Cube, the role of numbers in human history, and beyond! An unfailingly genial guide, Stewart brings his characteristic wit and erudition to bear on these incredible numbers, offering an engaging primer on the principles and power of math.

The Sense of Style

by Steven Pinker

"Charming and erudite . . . The wit and insight and clarity he brings . . . is what makes this book such a gem." --Time.com Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Do the kids today even care about good writing--and why should we care?In this entertaining and eminently practical book, the cognitive scientist, dictionary consultant, and New York Times-bestselling author Steven Pinker rethinks the usage guide for the twenty-first century. Using examples of great and gruesome modern prose while avoiding the scolding tone and Spartan tastes of the classic manuals, he 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 are curious about the ways in which the sciences of mind can illuminate how language works at its best.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Sense of Style

by Steven Pinker

"Charming and erudite . . . The wit and insight and clarity he brings . . . is what makes this book such a gem." --Time.com Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Do the kids today even care about good writing--and why should we care?In this entertaining and eminently practical book, the cognitive scientist, dictionary consultant, and New York Times-bestselling author Steven Pinker rethinks the usage guide for the twenty-first century. Using examples of great and gruesome modern prose while avoiding the scolding tone and Spartan tastes of the classic manuals, he 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 are curious about the ways in which the sciences of mind can illuminate how language works at its best.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Sense of Style

by Steven Pinker

A short and entertaining book on the modern art of writing well by New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Do the kids today even care about good writing? Why should any of us care? In The Sense of Style, the bestselling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these questions and more. Rethinking the usage guide for the twenty-first century, Pinker doesn't carp about the decline of language or recycle pet peeves from the rulebooks of a century ago. Instead, he applies insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear, coherent, and stylish prose. In this short, cheerful, and eminently practical book, Pinker shows how writing depends on imagination, empathy, coherence, grammatical knowhow, and an ability to savor and reverse engineer the good prose of others. He replaces dogma about usage with reason and evidence, allowing writers and editors to apply the guidelines judiciously, rather than robotically, being mindful of what they are designed to accomplish. Filled with examples of great and gruesome prose, Pinker shows us how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery and a fascinating intellectual topic in its own right.

The Stuff of Thought

by Steven Pinker

This New York Times bestseller is an exciting and fearless investigation of language Bestselling author Steven Pinker possesses that rare combination of scientific aptitude and verbal eloquence that enables him to provide lucid explanations of deep and powerful ideas. His previous books?including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Blank Slate?have catapulted him into the limelight as one of today?s most important popular science writers. In The Stuff of Thought, Pinker presents a fascinating look at how our words explain our nature. Considering scientific questions with examples from everyday life, The Stuff of Thought is a brilliantly crafted and highly readable work that will appeal to fans of everything from The Selfish Gene and Blink to Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature

by Steven Pinker

The author explains how the mind works by examining the way we use words. Pinker takes on scientific questions - such as how language affects thought, and which of our concepts are innate - as well as questions from the headlines and everyday life.

Words and Rules

by Steven Pinker

How does language work? How do children learn their mother tongue? Why do languages change over time, making Shakespearean English difficult for us to follow and Chaucer's English almost incomprehensible? Why do languages have so many quirks and irregularities? Are they all fundamentally alike? How are new words created? Where in the brain does language reside? In Words and Rules, Steven Pinker answers these and many other questions. His new book shares the wit and style of his classic, The Language Instinct, but explores language in a completely different way. In this book, Pinker explains the profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple single phenomenon and examining it from every angle. That phenomenon ¿ the existence of regular and irregular verbs ¿ connects an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities: the history of languages; the attempts to duplicate human language using computer simulations; the illuminating errors of children as they begin to speak; the peculiarities of the English language; the sources of the major themes in the history of Western philosophy; the latest techniques in identifying genes and imaging the living brain. Pinker makes sense of all of this with the help of a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules. It is a distinction that extends beyond language and offers insight into the very nature of the human mind. Words and Rules is a sparkling, eye-opening, and utterly original book by one of the world's leading cognitive scientists.

Words and Rules

by Steven Pinker

"In Words and Rules, Steven Pinker answers questions about the miraculous human ability called language, and does it in the gripping, witty style of his other bestsellers. Here Pinker explains the myst"

Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language

by Steven Pinker

Pinker (psychology, MIT) explains the mysteries of language, such as why languages change over time and how children learn their native language, by dissecting the idea that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules. Pinker connects a remarkable number of topics such as the attempts to simulate language using computers; the nature of human concepts; the peculiarities of the English language; and the theories of Noam Chomsky, through a minute dissection of the phenomenon of regular and irregular verbs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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