Science Nerd, Writer Nerd

Steven Pinker (Canadian-American cognitive scientist, linguist, and author) was born on September 18, 1954

Steven Arthur Pinker is a Canadian-American 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 academic pursuits include experiments on 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 less academic books, he argued that language is an “instinct” or biological adaptation shaped by natural selection. On this point, he opposes Noam Chomsky and others who regard the human capacity for language to be the by-product of other adaptations. He is the author of five books for a general audience, which include The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules (2000), The Blank Slate (2002), and The Stuff of Thought (2007).

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