The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 340 ratings
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ISBN-13: 978-0670063277
ISBN-10: 0670063274
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Engaging and provocative...filled with humor and fun."
-Douglas Hofstadter,
Los Angeles Times

"Pinker is a star, and the world of science is lucky to have him."
--Richard Dawkins

"Curious, inventive, fearless, naughty."
-
New York Times Book Review

"An important and inviting book."
--
Science

"There's plenty of stuff to think about, but a lot of fun stuff too."
-
Boston Globe

"Fascinating."
Wired

"Unfailingly engaging to read."
--
New York Review of Books

From Publishers Weekly

Unless you have a reasonably good background in linguistics, you'll find this excellent book much easier to read than to listen to. Olsher is not to blame; he reads clearly and at a (slightly rapid) conversational speed. Pinker aims for the educated lay reader, using wit and popular metaphor to clarify his meanings and bring abstruse linguistic concepts to life. But his sentences are dense; you need to reread them and think them through. And the jargon, though clearly defined, requires time and thought to absorb: Though hypernyms are not really examples of polysemy the way metonyms are, their use in emotionally tinged speech is another illustration of how choice among words can make a psychological difference. Such sentences are followed by clarifying illustrations, but they require cogitation—work that is well rewarded by a deeper and more complex understanding of language as a window into the mind. The chapter on the semantics of swearing is particularly fun and enlightening. In every culture swear words concern gods, diseases, excretions and sex, and Pinker tells us why. A person with some knowledge of linguistic theory will enjoy this audio enormously; a person without it will be enriched and delighted by the book, but have great difficulties with the audio version.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B000UZPIRA
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books; 1st edition (September 11, 2007)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 11, 2007
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2541 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 524 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 340 ratings

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Steven Pinker is one of the world's leading authorities on language and the mind. His popular and highly praised books include The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, Words and Rules, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct. The recipient of several major awards for his teaching, books, and scientific research, Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He also writes frequently for The New York Times, Time, The New Republic, and other magazines.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
340 global ratings

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Drawingboard82
3.0 out of 5 stars Someone told Steven Pinker he was clever once, and he has believed it ever since
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William Jordan
3.0 out of 5 stars not as gripping as The Better Angels of Our Nature...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought's Clothing
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RR Waller
4.0 out of 5 stars The Language Window - clear, opaque and translucent
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Dana S
2.0 out of 5 stars Try Guy Claxton's Intelligence in the flesh instead
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