Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Blog #52 - Blank Slate
The three statements we discussed revolved around the same issue (which I borrowed from Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature) - when we're born, how do we learn?
- However, many of you were focused on the romanticized version of sociopaths (Dexter, Hannibal Lector) when discussing good or bad. Do our actions make us bad or are there just bad people? Is selfishness bad? What about self preservation? In many ways, the phrase, "the apple doesn't fall from the tree" could apply - we follow our parents' lead when we're young until we actually forge our own value unique system.
- Pinker's concept here is called "ghost in the machine" after Gilbert Ryle's ideas about the mind and how Descartes approached mind / body dualism.
Pick one or more of these statements to add to the discussion. Your answer is due by Thursday, October 27th before class begins. Minimum of 250 words.
Steven Pinker's website: http://stevenpinker.com/