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The 30 best famous quotes of Steven Pinker

The 30 best famous quotes of Steven Pinker

June 24, 2021

Steven Pinker (September 18, 1954) is a Canadian psychologist and writer, very popular nowadays. In fact, a few months ago, he appeared on one of our lists as one of the 12 most influential psychologists today.

This exponent of evolutionary psychology has been interested in how our genetics predisposes us towards certain behaviors for a greater adaptation, and how language is a product of the evolution of our species shaped by natural selection.

The most important phrases of Steven Pinker

In the following lines you can find some of Steven Pinker's best quotes .

1. The culture rests on a neuronal circuitry that performs the feat we call "learning"

Although he has focused on the importance of genetics, Pinker thinks that culture and learning are two phenomena that are intimately related.


2. Everyone has a theory of human nature. We all have to anticipate the behavior of others, and that means we all need theories about what moves people

Human beings form hypotheses every day, because the simple relationship with others invites us to want to understand their behavior and anticipate it.

3. Contrary to popular belief, the theory centered on the genes of evolution does not imply that the point of all human effort is to spread our genes

A quote that refers to human evolution.

4. The mind is a neuronal computer

Neurons form the human brain, and allow us to think, feel, experience emotions, etc.


5. The mind is not the brain but is what the brain does; but not everything the brain does

A reflection on the unconscious of people.

6. Life is a series of terms that expire

Life must be enjoyed at every moment, because we will not live the past again.

7. As people get older, they confuse changes in themselves with changes in the world, and changes in the world with low morals; the illusion of the old days

The third age can be a moment of great reflection on what life is and has been.

8. The special status of the brain comes from something special that executes, that makes us see, think, feel, choose and act. This something special is the process of information or computing.

A quote from his book: "How the mind works: computing and evolution by natural selection"


9. News is about things that happen, never about things that do not happen

The news circulating aims to inform.

10. Since violence is largely a male pastime, cultures that allow women to move away from the exaltation of violence and are less likely to breed dangerous subcultures with uprooted youth

A reflection that invites the reader to think in depth.

11. Children acquire spoken language instinctively, but the writing they learn only with the sweat of their brow, because spoken language has been a feature of human life for tens or hundreds of millennia, while the writing was invention recent and that it spread very slowly

People learn to speak naturally, but we do not write well until we go to school.

12. Genes are like a game inside another game, and not the inside monologue of the players

Pinker finds a similarity between genes and the game.

13. As technology builds up and more people from all over the planet become interdependent, the hatred between them tends to diminish, for the simple reason that you can not kill someone without killing the trade as well

There is a relationship between the advance of new technologies and capitalism.

14. The belief that human tastes are nothing more than reversible cultural preferences has led social planners to prevent people from enjoying ornamentation, natural light and human scale, and has forced millions of people to live in gray cement boxes

A word that criticizes people who are passive towards cultural influence.

15. Solving a problem even in a period of one hundred years is, for all practical purposes, the same as never solving it

The problems must be solved at the time, because the consequences can be negative if it is not done.

16. It is natural to think that living beings must be the work of a designer. But it was also natural to think that the sun was put around the earth. Overcoming naive impressions to find out how things really work is one of humanity's highest callings

People should not be perfectionists, because it negatively affects our well-being.

17. It is not right for parents to beat, humiliate, deprive or abandon their children, because it is dreadful for a large and strong person to do these things to another small and helpless one.

Parents should be careful when punishing their children.

18. The fact that adolescents smoke, have friction with justice or commit serious crimes depends much more on what their peers do than on what their parents do.

During adolescence, the weight of peers has a great weight on the behavior of adolescents.

19. The psychology of morality is multifaceted. There is not a single answer about where morality is in the brain

Morality is a social construction, as Steven Pinker makes clear with this phrase.

20. In each moment we choose, consciously or unconsciously, between good things for now and better things for later

People usually have expectations of a better future, it is what keeps us motivated.

21. Fiction is the technology of empathy

In order to act, it is necessary to have a good capacity for empathy.

22. Any ethnic group that has managed to arrive until today probably had some aggressive ancestors in a past not too distant

Human beings have not evolved simply by preferring peace to war.

23. Nothing offers life more meaning than the realization that each moment of sensitivity is a precious gift

An appointment that invites you to ask questions about human existence.

24. The romantic notion that all evil is a product of society has justified the release of dangerous psychopaths who immediately murdered innocent people

Some social psychologists say that being good or bad depends on the situation. Something that, according to Pinker, should be caught with tweezers.

25. Our visual systems can play tricks, and it is enough to show that they are instruments of non-truth

The result of what we see is not reality, but our reality.

26. We will never have a perfect world, but it is not romantic or naive to work for a better one

To think that the world will be a paradise in which everyone will be respected and social classes will not exist is a utopia.

27. I do not think that evolution designed us to reproduce but to enjoy sex and love children

A Pinker opinion on sex and reproduction.

28. A newborn is not a blank sheet

Pinker thinks that when we are born we are not a tabula rasa.

29. I believe that institutions that promote the search for truth, such as science, history and journalism, are aimed at strengthening that muscle of reality to a large extent

In the opinion of the author, the search for the truth should be a primordial value of the people.

30. As technology builds up and people from more parts of the world become interdependent, the hatred between them tends to diminish, for the simple reason that you can not kill someone and at the same time trade with them.

Many times, the economy prevails over prejudices.


Steven Pinker: Human nature and the blank slate (June 2021).


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