Perhaps the war is over
Steven Pinker’s new book The Blank Slate is reviewed
in The Nation, the US’s oldest leftist magazine (which I’ve been reading for years), this week. The review is long, favourable, and not opposed to evolutionary psychology. I say ‘not opposed’ rather than sympathetic because the latter seems an absurd word to use about scientific research. It’s not as if evolutionary pyschology is going to have hurt feelings because some people disapprove of it. As Steven Johnson points out, advocates of the ‘blank slate’ view of human nature are being made into Flat Earthers by the science. But there are still a good few of them about, and it is both surprising and heartening to find a sentence like the following in a stalwartly lefty mag.
It may not convince everyone of the merits of evolutionary psychology, but it should certainly undermine the default assumption that the Darwinian theory of the mind is implicitly a reactionary one.