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Trinity Debunked, Now What? 
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Post Trinity Debunked, Now What?
It is my view that Pinker clearly demonstrates that the trinity of the Blank Slate, Noble Savage and Ghost in the Machine, have proven inaccurate in light of scientific evidence. Given that, how would we change our society in the light of this? And how do we do it without taking away any good things that have occurred as a result of the aforementioned trinity? After all, Locke, Rousseau and Descartes are all still highly influential.




Thu Aug 21, 2003 10:00 pm
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Post Re: Trinity Debunked, Now What?
It is probably in the field of the social sciences that the ideas expressed in the 'Blank Slate' are likely to have the most impact. It may well be that this book will herald the biggest change in the field since Freud. At least Pinker's arguments seem to be soundly based in scientific evidence rather than the pseudo-scientific, idiosyncratic, personality driven approach that characterised Freud's theories. Not that Freud was wrong about everything of course. But much damage has been caused by the over zealous application of his theories. Families have been torn apart by "recovered" memories of child abuse, that turned out to have been false memories implanted by the therapists while their patients were undergoing hypnotherapy.

Just recently I watched a television documentary about the father of a psychopathic murderer, and I remember a sequence where an "expert" psychotherapist was effectively telling the father that his (admittedly poor) parenting was to blame for his son's behaviour. (The "expert" was presenting her arguments in a restrained, professional way of course.)

I was in the middle of reading 'The Blank Slate' when I watched the documentary and I wondered what that expert would think when she read it.

I suspect it was Pinker's wish to correct injustices like this that might have driven him to write the book.




Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:33 am
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