Steven Pinker Quotes

Who is Steven Pinker?

Steven Arthur Pinker is a Canadian-American psychologist and author of popular science books.

Born September 18, 1954

Books by Steven Pinker


Best 13 Quotes by Steven Pinker

“It's natural to think that living things must be the handiwork of a designer. But it was also natural to think that the sun went around the earth. Overcoming naive impressions to figure out how things really work is one of humanity's highest callings.”

Steven Pinker

“Most progressive intellectuals hate progression.”

Steven Pinker

“Sex and excretion are reminders that anyone's claim to round-the-clock dignity is tenuous. The so-called rational animal has a desperate drive to pair up and moan and writhe.”

Steven Pinker

“Thanks to the redundancy of language, yxx cxn xndxrstxnd whxt x xm wrxtxng xvxn xf x rxplxcx xll thx vxwxls wxth xn "x" (t gts lttl hrdr f y dn't vn knw whr th vwls r)”

Steven Pinker

How the Mind Works Quotes

“Just as blueprints don't necessarily specify blue buildings, selfish genes don't necessarily specify selfish organisms. As we shall see, sometimes the most selfish thing a gene can do is build a selfless brain. Genes are a play within a play, not the interior monologue of the players.”

Steven Pinker
How the Mind Works

“The mind is a neural computer.”

Steven Pinker
How the Mind Works

“The supposedly immaterial soul, we now know, can be bisected with a knife, altered by chemicals, started or stopped by electricity, and extinguished by a sharp blow or by insufficient oxygen.”

Steven Pinker
How the Mind Works

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The Better Angels of Our Nature Quotes

“Challenge a person's beliefs, and you challenge his dignity, standing, and power. And when those beliefs are based on nothing but faith, they are chronically fragile. No one gets upset about the belief that rocks fall down as opposed to up, because all sane people can see it with their own eyes. Not so for the belief that babies are born with original sin or that God exists in three persons or that Ali is the second-most divinely inspired man after Muhammad. When people organize their lives around these beliefs, and then learn of other people who seem to be doing just fine without them–or worse, who credibly rebut them–they are in danger of looking like fools. Since one cannot defend a belief based on faith by persuading skeptics it is true, the faithful are apt to react to unbelief with rage, and may try to eliminate that affront to everything that makes their lives meaningful.”

Steven Pinker
The Better Angels of Our Nature

The Blank Slate Quotes

“Disgust is intuitive microbiology.”

Steven Pinker
The Blank Slate

“Equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group.”

Steven Pinker
The Blank Slate

“Much of what is today called "social criticism" consists of members of the upper classes denouncing the tastes of the lower classes (bawdy entertainment, fast food, plentiful consumer goods) while considering themselves egalitarians.”

Steven Pinker
The Blank Slate

Twitter post Quotes

“AI outperforms docs in diagnosing ear infections: No surprise, since one of the most robust findings in psychology ("clinical vs actuarial prediction") is that even simple statistical formulas usually outperform experts when compared head to head.”

Steven Pinker
Twitter post

Words and Rules Quotes

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to compute it.”

Steven Pinker
Words and Rules

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“The dead outnumber the living fourteen to one, and we ignore the accumulated experience of such a huge majority of mankind at our peril.”

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