9780670063277

The Stuff of Thought Language as a Window into Human Nature

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780670063277

  • ISBN10:

    0670063274

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-09-11
  • Publisher: Viking Adult

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Summary

New York Timesbestselling 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 and popular science writers. Now, in The Stuff of Thought, Pinker marries two of the subjects he knows best: language and human nature. The result is a fascinating look at how our words explain our nature. What does swearing reveal about our emotions? Why does innuendo disclose something about relationships? Pinker reveals how our use of prepositions and tenses taps into peculiarly human concepts of space and time, and how our nouns and verbs speak to our notions of matter. Even the names we give our babies have important things to say about our relations to our children and to society. With his signature wit and style, Pinker takes on scientific questions like whether language affects thought, as well as forays into everyday life—why is bulk e-mail called spam and how do romantic comedies get such mileage out of the ambiguities of dating? The Stuff of Thoughtis a brilliantly crafted and highly readable work that will appeal to fans of readers of everything from The Selfish Geneand Blinkto Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

Author Biography

Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor of psychology at Harvard University. In 2006, Time named him one of the 100 most important people in the world. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as The New York Times, Time, and Slate, and is the author of six books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, Words and Rules, and The Blank Slate.

Table of Contents

Words and worldsp. 1
Down the rabbit holep. 25
Fifty thousand innate concepts (and other radical theories of language and thought)p. 89
Cleaving the airp. 153
The metaphor metaphorp. 235
What's in a name?p. 279
The seven words you can't say on televisionp. 323
Games people playp. 373
Escaping the cavep. 427
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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