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Are We "Hard Wired"

Page history last edited by Ian D Goddard 10 years, 8 months ago

Steve Pinker chalks it up to the blank slate.  (2003)

Steven Pinker’s books have been like bombs tossed into the eternal nature-versus-nurture debate. Pinker asserts that not only are human minds predisposed to certain kinds of learning, such as language, but that from birth our minds -- the patterns in which our brain cells fire -- predispose us each to think and behave differently.  His deep studies of language have led him to insights into the way that humans form thoughts and engage our world. He argues that humans have evolved to share a faculty for language, the same way a spider evolved to spin a web. We aren’t born with “blank slates” to be shaped entirely by our parents and environment.

 

Jonathan Haidt, "The Real Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives. (2008)

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies morality and emotion in the context of culture. He asks: Why did humans evolve to have morals -- and why did we all evolve to have such different morals, to the point that our moral differences may make us deadly enemies? It's a question with deep repercussions in war and peace -- and in modern politics, where reasoned discourse has been replaced by partisan anger and cries of "You just don't get it!"   Haidt asks, "Can't we all disagree more constructively?" He suggests we might build a more civil and productive discourse by understanding the moral psychology of those we disagree with, and committing to a more civil political process.

 

Christopher deCharms: Looking inside the brain in real time (2008)

Neuroscientist and inventor Christopher deCharms demonstrates a new way to use fMRI to show brain activity -- thoughts, emotions, pain -- while it is happening. In other words, you can actually see how you feel.

 

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