How the Mind Works

non-fiction by Steven Pinker


How the Mind Works is a 1997 book by Canadian-American cognitive scientist Steven Pinker. The book attempts to explain some of the human mind's poorly understood functions and quirks in evolutionary terms. Drawing heavily on the paradigm of evolutionary psychology articulated by John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, Pinker covers subjects as diverse as vision, emotion, feminism, and, in the final chapter, "the meaning of life". He argues for both a computational theory of mind and a neo-Darwinist / adaptationist approach to evolution, all of which he sees as the central components of evolutionary psychology. He criticizes difference feminism in his book because he believes scientific research has shown that women and men differ little or not at all in their moral reasoning. This book was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist.

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