Steven Pinker

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Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a Canadian experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the 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.

Pinker's academic specializations are visual cognition and psycholinguistics. His experimental subjects include mental imagery, shape recognition, visual attention, children's language development, regular and irregular phenomena in language, the neural bases of words and grammar, and the psychology of innuendo and euphemism. He published two technical books which proposed a general theory of language acquisition and applied it to children's learning of verbs. In his popular books, he has argued that language is an "instinct" or biological adaptation shaped by natural selection. He is the author of six books for a general audience:


  • The Language Instinct, New York: William Morrow and Company, 1994; Harper Perennial, 1995.
  • How the Mind Works, New York: William Morrow and Company, 1997; London: The Penguin Press, 1998.
    • Como functiona la mente, Trans. Ferran Meler-Orti, Ediciones Destino. (Spanish)
  • with Jacques Mehlerv(eds.), Connections and Symbols, 1988.
  • Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language, New York: Basic Books, 1999; new edition, 2000 review.
  • The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, New York: Viking Press, 2002 [1].
    • La tabla rasa, Barcelona: EDITORIAL PAIDÓS IBÉRICA, 2003. (Spanish)
  • The Stuff of Thought: Language As a Window Into Human Nature, Viking Press, 2007.
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature, 2011.