The Blank Slate

2003年普利策一般非小说类提名。Another book about nature and nurture.

全书分:
1. The blank slate, the noble savage, and the ghost in the machine
2. Fear and loathing
3. Human nature with a human face
4. Know thyself
5. Hot buttons
6. The voice of species
六个部分。

也许是因为中国不像美国那样在种族性别等议题上存在 politically incorrect 的问题,文化决定论也不怎么盛行,所以上半部分的论战个人不是太感兴趣。

有趣的是第四部分(特别是13章和14章),虽然大多是对前人思想的回顾和总结,不过确实引人深思。比如下面这段涉及演化心理学的论述:
Consciousness is a manifestation of the neural computations necessary to figure out how to get the rare and unpredictable things we need. We feel hunger, savor food, and have a palate for countless fascinating tastes because food was hard to get during most of our evolutionary history. We don’t normally feel longing, delight, or fascination regarding oxygen, even though it is crucial for survival, because it was never hard to obtain. We just breathe.
看来正是如此,人们才喜欢戏剧啊。

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