- Paperback: 672 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Later prt. edition (January 17, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393318486
- ISBN-13: 978-0393318487
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 246 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How the Mind Works Later prt. Edition
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This is a lively and accessible book, and Pinker tackles his enormously ambitious project with energy and humour. -- Times [London], Edward Platt, 21 February 1999
[How the Mind Works] marks out the territory on which the coming century's debate about human nature will be held. -- Oliver Morton, The New Yorker
About the Author
Steven Pinker is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language and cognition; writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time, and The Atlantic; and is the author of ten books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Stuff of Thought, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.
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Does this book really give the answers to these kinds of questions? Yes, he gives his answers. And they are satisfying ones, too, so the huge title How the Mind Works. However, I believe that the answers to the seemingly unsolvable questions are not as important as the road toward the answers, strangely, on every step of which, not at the end of them, there lay the Meaning of Life (the final chapter of the book) for me. And that meaning is one good one to live by.
It is not in my opinion as good a book as The Language Instinct, nor as good as The Blank Slate, which it resembles in some ways (I am reading them simultaneously, though I read TBS years ago for the first time, and you can't help but notice the cross-over). So, I considered giving it four stars. But, then I decided, it is such a powerful performance, and so well written, that it shouldn't get less than five stars just because he didn't surpass himself. I have another book of his on tap and I'm going to get right to it.
I will offer this minor criticism. Have you ever sat through a fireworks display that just never ended? It might have benefitted from a little tighter editing, but it seems like he just doesn't want to leave anything out. If he knows it, he want us to know it too.
Fun and worth reading, particularly the sections on language.