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THE LANGUAGE INSTINCT

676 Pages · 2007 · 4.96 MB · English

  • THE LANGUAGE INSTINCT

    # # ##


    'E ACCLAIMED BESTSELLER BY THE AUTHOR OF


    A


    THE LANGUAGE INSTINCT


    ill


    (ITTY, LUCID AND ULTIMATELY ENTHRALLING' OBSERVER


    STEVEN PINKER


    o • 'Presented with extraordinary lucidity, cogency


    and panache...Powerful and gripping ...To


    have read [the book] is to have consulted a first


    draft of the structural plan of the human psyche


    ... a glittering tour deforce'


    Hugh Lawson-Tancred, Spectator


    In this brilliant and controversial book, Steven


    Pinker, one of the world's leading cognitive


    scientists, explains what the mind is, how it


    evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel,


    interact, enjoy the arts and ponder the mysteries


    of life. And he does it with the clarity and style


    that earned The Language Instinct worldwide


    critical acclaim and several major prizes.


    Pinker has a knack tor making the profound seem obvious A fascinating bag


    of evolutionary insights' Economist


    A landmark in popular science A major public asset' MarekKohn,


    Independent


    A model of scientific writing: erudite, witty and clear. An excellent book'


    Steve Jones, New York Review of Books


    'Marks out the territory on which the coming century's debate about human


    nature will be held' Oliver Morton, The New Yorker


    'Pinker has a remarkable capacity to explain difficult ideas and he writes with


    the comic verve ol Martin Amis or Woody Allen ... Haw the Mind Works will


    change the way your mind works' Elaine Showalter. The Times


    Cover illu*rracion by Haw nil Subbiah


    Author photograph: Bethany Versoy


    0


    PENGUIN


    ISBN 0J4491-3


    Science


    90201


    U.K. £9.99


    AUST. S 19.95


    (recommended) 78OU0M24

    HOW THE MIND WORKS


    'A witty, erudite, stimulating and provocative book that throws much


    new light on the machinery of the mind. An important book'


    Kenan Malik, Independent on Sunday


    'He has a great deal to say, much of it ground-breaking, some of it


    highly controversial... a primer in remarkable science writing'


    Simon Garfield, Mail on Sunday


    'As lengthy as it is, it will produce a book in the reader's head


    that is even longer. For it alters completely the way one thinks


    about thinking, and its unforeseen consequences probably


    can't be contained by a book Christopher Lehmann-Haupt,


    The New York Times


    'Witty popular science that you enjoy reading for the writing as well


    as for the science. No other science writer makes me laugh so much


    ... He is a top-rate writer, and deserves the superlatives that are


    lavished on him' Mark Ridley, The New York Times Book Review


    "The humour, breadth and clarity of thought... make this work


    essential reading for anyone curious about the human mind'


    Raymond Dolan, Observer ABOUT THE AUTHOR


    Steven Pinker, a native of Montreal, studied experimental psychology


    at McGill University and Harvard University. After serving on the fac


    ulties of Harvard and Stanford universities he moved to the Mas


    sachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is currently Professor of


    Psychology and Director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience.


    Pinker has studied many aspects of language and of visual cognition,


    with a focus on language acquisition in children. He is a fellow of sev


    eral scientific societies, and has been awarded research prizes from the


    the National Academy of Sciences and the American Psychological


    Association, a teaching prize from MIT, and book prizes from the


    American Psychological Association, the Linguistics Society of Ameri


    ca and the Los Angeles Times. His classic The Language Instinct is also


    available in Penguin. H OW


    THE M I ND


    WORKS


    Steven Pinker


    ©


    PENGUIN BOOKS PENGUIN BOOKS


    Published by the Penguin Group


    Penguin Books Ltd, 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ, England


    Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA


    Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia


    Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2


    Penguin Books (NZ) Ltd, 182-190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand


    Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England


    First published in the USA by W. W. Norton 1997


    First published in Great Britain by Allen Lane The Penguin Press 1998


    Published in Penguin Books 1998


    13579 10 8642


    Copyright © Stephen Pinker, 1997


    All rights reserved


    The notices on page 627 constitute an extension of this copyright page


    The moral right of the author has been asserted


    Printed in England by Clays Ltd, St Ives pic


    Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject


    to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent,


    re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's


    prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in


    which it is published and without a similar condition including this


    condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser FOR ILAVENIL CONTENTS


    Preface ix


    J Standard Equipment 3


    2 Thinking Machines 59


    3 Revenge of the Nerds 149


    4 The Mind's Eye 211


    5 Good Ideas 299


    6 Hotheads 363


    7 Family Values 425


    8 The Meaning of Life 521


    Notes 567


    References 589


    Index 629


    Vll


    _d


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