Steven Pinker: Understanding Human Nature

Understanding Human Nature with Steven Pinker - Conversations with History

Steven Pinker; Johnston Family Professor of Psychology Harvard University

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harvard's Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, for a discussion of his intellectual journey. Pinker discusses the origins and evolution of his thinking on human nature. Topics include: growing up in Montreal in a Jewish family, the impact of the 1960's, his education, and the trajectory of his research interests. He explains his early work in linguistics and how he came to write his recent work, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. In the conversation, Pinker describes the importance of interdisciplinary research and analyzes creativity. He concludes with a discussion of how science can contribute to the humanities and offers advice to students on how to prepare for the future.

Key Words: Psychology, Linguistics, Violence
Steven Pinker
Publication date: 
February 3, 2014
Publication type: 
Conversations with History