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Steven Pinker

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Steven Pinker is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.
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You Say You Want a Revolution
by Daniel Chirot (Mar 30, 2020)
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Tags: historypoliticsphilosophysociology
Why most modern revolutions have ended in bloodshed and failure--and what lessons they hold for today's world of growing extremismWhy have so many of the iconic revolutions of modern times ended in bloody tragedies? And what lessons can be drawn from these failures today, in a world where political extremism is on the rise and rational reform based...
The Mental Life of Modernism
Why Poetry, Painting, and Music Changed at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (The MIT Press)
by Samuel Jay Keyser (Mar 09, 2020)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: psychology
An argument that Modernism is a cognitive phenomenon rather than a cultural one.At the beginning of the twentieth century, poetry, music, and painting all underwent a sea change. Poetry abandoned rhyme and meter; music ceased to be tonally centered; and painting no longer aimed at faithful representation. These artistic developments have been attri...
36 Arguments for the Existence of God
A Work of Fiction (Vintage Contemporaries)
by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein (Jan 31, 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: self-helphumorpsychologyfiction
From the author of The Mind-Body Problem: a witty and intoxicating novel of ideas that plunges into the great debate between faith and reason. At the center is Cass Seltzer, a professor of psychology whose book, The Varieties of Religious Illusion, has become a surprise best seller. Dubbed the atheist with a soul, he wins over the stunning Lucinda ...
It's Better Than It Looks
Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear
by Gregg Easterbrook (Mar 04, 2019)
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Tags: historyeconomics
Is civilization teetering on the edge of a cliff? Or are we just climbing higher than ever?Most people who read the news would tell you that 2017 is one of the worst years in recent memory. We're facing a series of deeply troubling, even existential problems: fascism, terrorism, environmental collapse, racial and economic inequality, and more.Yet t...
Heavens on Earth
The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia
by Michael Shermer (Jan 08, 2018)
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Tags: historysciencephilosophysociology
In his most ambitious work yet, Shermer sets out to discover what drives humans' belief in life after death, focusing on recent scientific attempts to achieve immortality by radical life extentionists, extropians, transhumanists, cryonicists, and mind uploaders, along with utopians who have attempted to create heaven on earth. For millennia, religi...
The Theocons
Secular America Under Siege
by Damon Linker (Sep 03, 2007)
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Tags: historypoliticsreligionscience
An essential history of the influential men who have spearheaded the movement to erode the wall separating church and state.Beginning as far-left radicals during the 1960s, the theocons in Damon Linkers book (including Richard John Neuhaus, Michael Novak, and George Weigel) gradually transitioned to conservatism when they grew frustrated with the f...
The Myth of Martyrdom
What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers
by Adam Lankford (Jan 21, 2013)
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Tags: psychologyhistorysciencepolitics
A startling look at the deepest, darkest secrets that terrorists pray you'll never know For decades, experts from the most powerful governments and prestigious universities around the world have told us that suicide bombers are psychologically normal men and women driven by a single-minded purpose: self-sacrifice. As it turns out, this claim origin...
Speaking Our Minds
by Thom Scott-Phillips (Nov 16, 2014)
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Tags: psychologyreferencemedicalphilosophy
Language is an essential part of what makes us human. Where did it come from? How did it develop into the complex system we know today? And what can an evolutionary perspective tell us about the nature of language and communication?Drawing on a range of disciplines including cognitive science, linguistics, anthropology and evolutionary biology, Spe...
The Language Hoax
by John H. McWhorter (Apr 28, 2014)
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Tags: referencepsychologymedical
Japanese has a term that covers both green and blue. Russian has separate terms for dark and light blue. Does this mean that Russians perceive these colors differently from Japanese people? Does language control and limit the way we think, such that each language gives its speakers a different "worldview"?This short, opinionated book addresses the ...
Eye, Brain, and Vision
by David H. Hubel (Jul 31, 1988)
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Tags: sciencemath
This work examines the mechanisms by which we perceive colour, depth and movement, and the function of the fibres connecting the two halves of the brain. The author describes how the visual circuits develop before birth and discusses the unexpected consequences of visual deprivation early in life. He describes current knowledge concerning the highe...
An exciting book that takes travel writing to a new frontier ! Wouldnt it be a great adventure, said kayak voyager Jim Payne, to copy a rowboat trip that famous naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau took in 1839 on the Concord River? It sounded easy, but once upon the restless waters in a kayak that has a habit of tipping over, Payne has m...