GNXP And Pinker

Gene Expression has a 10 question interview with Steven Pinker. I've always gotten the feeling that Pinker is holding back a lot of what he wants to say due to the atmosphere in academia.

Friendly note to Razib: when you get someone like Pinker or Harris interviewed for your blog, expand the post and make it appear prominently on the front page so people don't gloss over it.

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the reason we use extended

the reason we use extended entries is that we want to make sure that interviewees aren’t scared away by association with other content on the weblog. this way their answers are not framed close association with other material which they might not want to associate with. in any case, our interviews come up high on google, so people will find them. e.g., judith rich harris is #6 in a query for her name.

You know, I liked The Blank

You know, I liked The Blank Slate when I first read it, but the more I think about it, the more it seems that Pinker is really just confused on a lot of notions. He says he's disproving noble savages, Hobbessian men, and ghosts in the machine, but he really doesn't have any thing to substitute in their place.

GNXP Interview With Steven

GNXP Interview With Steven Pinker
Lynne Kiesling Gene Expression has an interview with Steven Pinker that is an interesting read. Thanks to Catallarchy for the link....

but he really doesn’t have

but he really doesn’t have any thing to substitute in their place.

two words: evolutionary psychology.

Maybe, razib, but even if we

Maybe, razib, but even if we can present a picture of how people have evolved to think and act, it still takes another argument to say that therefore they should act that way.

In fact, even the idea that we can choose whether or not to follow how we have evolved to act and think suggests to me the existence of something more in the psyche than Pinker acknowledges: a ghost in the machine. Pinker gets lost along similar lines when he starts talking about expanding and shrinking the moral circle---never analyzing what it is that is doing the expansion if not the aforementioned machine-bound ghost.