“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this—the most inspiring book I've ever read."
—Bill Gates (May, 2017)

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

The author of Enlightenment Now and The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence.

Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millenia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, programs, gruesom punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?

This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the esesnce of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives--the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away--and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.  
A classic book about language acquisition and conceptual structure, with a new preface by the author, "The Secret Life of Verbs."

Before Steven Pinker wrote bestsellers on language and human nature, he wrote several technical monographs on language acquisition that have become classics in cognitive science. Learnability and Cognition, first published in 1989, brought together two big topics: how do children learn their mother tongue, and how does the mind represent basic categories of meaning such as space, time, causality, agency, and goals? The stage for this synthesis was set by the fact that when children learn a language, they come to make surprisingly subtle distinctions: pour water into the glass and fill the glass with water sound natural, but pour the glass with water and fill water into the glass sound odd. How can this happen, given that children are not reliably corrected for uttering odd sentences, and they don't just parrot back the correct ones they hear from their parents? Pinker resolves this paradox with a theory of how children acquire the meaning and uses of verbs, and explores that theory's implications for language, thought, and the relationship between them.

As Pinker writes in a new preface, "The Secret Life of Verbs," the phenomena and ideas he explored in this book inspired his 2007 bestseller The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. These technical discussions, he notes, provide insight not just into language acquisition but into literary metaphor, scientific understanding, political discourse, and even the conceptions of sexuality that go into obscenity.

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018
ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR

"My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates

If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
?紐時暢銷作家、《語言本能》作者

享譽國際的認知科學 ╳ 心理語言學家?


為21世紀知識分子所寫的英語寫作指南

何穎怡(商周選書顧問) 推薦


良好的寫作並非本能,對人類來說,這甚至是項艱難的任務;然而,這不代表我們無法透過後天努力掌握這項技藝,更不代表學習過程必然枯燥而充滿教條;事實上,這可以是一場迷人的心智旅程。


本書是為了有英文寫作的需求,並期望提升此項能力的人們而撰。此外,如果對文學有興趣,或希望了解心智科學如何幫助人們理解語言的運作,也能從本書獲得啟發。


搭配豐富的正反實例,作者告訴我們:


@透過大量閱讀提升品味和語感

@讓讀者與文章主題產生清楚連結

@去除專業知識構成的理解障礙

@避免不恰當的文章結構誤導讀者

@確保文章具一致性與邏輯性

@掌握正確語法


掌握以上數點,並經過假以時日的練習,就能寫出論述清晰而又兼具風格的英語好文章。


【本書特色】


.語言本能作者最新著作

.引用大量優美的文章,說明如何能使文章好看且易於閱讀;筆法及引用的例子特殊,市場相對少見。

.旁徵博引,豐富的語言學、科學與心智科學知識,提供讀者豐富多元的閱讀厚度


【名家推薦】


「本書優雅而清晰地一擊即中,推翻了所謂英語快爛得要丟去餵狗了的說法。平克為新世紀寫了像史壯克和懷特(Strunk and White)那樣的經典之作,同時勸導人們拋棄沒有根據的無稽之談,譬如指稱那個廣告老口號該說成:“Winston tastes good as a cigarette should.”(雲絲頓好味道,香菸就該這麼好。)」

——約翰.麥克霍特(John McWhorter)(《偉哉!我們的雜種語言》(Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue)和《巴別塔的力量》(The Power of Babel)的作者)


「幹得好!只有平克才能寫出這本了不起的好書,也謝天謝地他真把它寫了出來。他寫道:『好文章能把我們對世界的觀感翻轉過來。』《寫作風格的意識》一書也能把你對好文章的想法翻轉過來。書中每一頁都散發著平克的好奇之心和欣喜之情;而當他說,風格可以令世界變得更美好,我們都信以為真。」

——派翠克.歐康納(Patricia T. O'Conner)(《我何其不幸》(Woe Is I)的作者,並與史都華.凱勒曼(Stewart Kellerman)合著《似是而非的起源》(Origins of the Specious))


「能有像他那樣活潑而澄明的心智,把認知科學的意念帶給普羅大眾,真是一樁好事。」

——德格拉斯.霍夫斯達德(Douglas Hofstadter)(《洛杉磯時報》(Los Angeles Times))


【對史迪芬.平克的讚譽】


「他下筆有如天使。」

——《經濟學人》(The Economist)


「他是多麼不同凡響的思想家和作家。……平克是一顆明星,科學界慶幸有他這樣的人。」

——理查德.道金斯(Richard Dawkins)(《泰晤士報文學增刊》(The Times Literary Supplement))


「能有像他那樣活潑而澄明的心智,把認知科學的意念帶給普羅大眾,真是一樁好事。」

——德格拉斯.霍夫斯達德(Douglas Hofstadter)(《洛杉磯時報》(Los Angeles Times))


出版社 商周出版(城邦)

Perché ci innamoriamo? Come si spiegano le nostre diverse reazioni di fronte all’arte, alla filosofia e alla religione? Perché i ricordi svaniscono? E dove nascono gli stereotipi etnici oppure la credenza nei fantasmi? Le innumerevoli domande sull’origine, la natura e il funzionamento della nostra mente finiscono spesso per perdersi nella vaghezza del mistero. Questo, invece, è un libro di risposte. Sfidando pregiudizi consolidati e demolendo teoremi un tempo indiscutibili, Steven Pinker ci guida alla scoperta dei più recenti progressi delle scienze cognitive e ricostruisce il programma straordinariamente complesso che rende possibili gli eventi della vita mentale che siamo abituati a dare per scontati: le meccaniche del pianto e del riso, dell’empatia e della percezione visiva. Facendo ricorso all’ingegneria inversa, che si interroga sugli scopi e l’organizzazione dei vari elementi che compongono una macchina, Pinker individua le funzioni alle quali la selezione naturale ha destinato la mente, un sistema di organi di calcolo che ha permesso ai nostri antenati cacciatori-raccoglitori di lottare, sopravvivere, prevalere. L’approccio di Pinker, uno dei più autorevoli studiosi di scienze cognitive, è rigoroso e multidisciplinare, spazia dalle neuroscienze alla biologia evolutiva compiendo efficaci e frequenti incursioni nelle discipline più disparate, come l’economia la psicologia sociale e la letteratura. Il risultato è una sintesi avvincente e monumentale – troppo ricca, esatta e pionieristica nei collegamenti e nelle conclusioni per essere ridotta a semplice divulgazione scientifica –, scritta con l’intelligenza, il ritmo e l’umorismo del grande narratore.
?◆美國心理協會 基礎科學獎(William James Book Prize)

◆美國語言學學會 書卷獎(Linguistics, Language and the Public Award)

◆《新科學人》二十世紀百大科學好書

◆《紐約時報書評》年度好書

◆《倫敦泰晤士報》

◆《波士頓環球報》等八家報紙年度十大好書


探索人類語言進化的奧秘

人類會說話,就像蜘蛛結網一樣,是與生俱來的本能?

這是認識語言科學必讀的經典著作,也是所有使用語言的人都應該看的書。


史迪芬.平克是舉世聞名的認知科學家暨心理語言學家。

本書強調:語言是大腦先天存在的配備,如同蜘蛛天生就會結網;語言學習是語言本能的結果,而不是原因。透過日常生活中的有趣例子,平克探究了語言的所有問題:包括語言的運作、計算、改變、演化、嬰兒如何牙牙學語、普遍語法的存在證據、洋涇濱語言的演變,以及語言藍圖的主宰性……。

或許有一天,生物技術真的能夠找到存於腦海裡的文法基因、語言基因。


【本書特色】


.世界語言學與心智科學的領導人物,重量級暢銷科普作者!

.大膽立論並具備正確的科學知識,豐富精采的敘事風格持續暢銷二十年!

.曾志朗、王士元教授專文推薦。


【名家推薦】


……任何想了解人類語言與認知系統的人,都必須把平克的這本書徹底讀一讀、想一想!……平克引經據典,卻一點也不讓人感到繁重;他平實立論、嚴謹推論,然後輕輕鬆鬆下結論,一氣呵成,讓人在不知不覺中,不得不贊成他的觀點:「如果不是本能,我們怎麼可能以那麼幼小的心靈,去學會那麼複雜的語法體系?」……書中所提出的許許多多議題,都引起相當多爭論。這些爭論相當的精采,而且使得語言科學的研究,由基因到文化層面,無所不包。那蓬勃的氣勢,令人屏息!?

——曾志朗(中央研究院院士)


語言是人類極為獨特和珍貴的工具,可以說是我們人類起源、發展和進化的看家寶。……平克的《語言本能》便是這個新知識領域的一個嚮導。這本書目前已經從英文譯為好幾種語言,我們感到幸運的是洪蘭教授能夠把這本書譯為中文,從而使我們中文讀者有機會分享這個新知識領域的研究成果,同時也為我們有機會親自參與這個新知識領域的開闢和探討工作,鋪墊了一條途徑。

——王士元(中央研究院院士)


非常有價值的書,資料非常豐富,也寫得非常好。

——喬姆斯基(Noam Chomsky)(語言學大師)


由真正的專家所寫關於語言的書,可讀性非常高。平克非常技巧地把每個人都想知道的語言問題提出來討論,不但從語言學、心理學的專業知識著手,他還有深厚的生物學知識。最主要的是,他知道一般人對於語言學的問題在哪裡,以四兩撥千金的輕鬆方式,撥開雲霧見青天,把人們帶出牛角尖。這本書在科學普及方面立下了不朽的功勞,無疑地會使讀者開始尊敬這個令人驚奇的自然現象——語言。

——《自然》(Nature)科學期刊


極重要、極有力的書。論點根據演化生物學的基本精神:表達得非常優雅,沒有故意貶低對手的看法。《語言本能》會引起爭議,但是平克處理得非常漂亮,他很聰明地建構出他的論點,強有力地提出所有證據,並以流暢的文筆加以表達。讀者可以反對平克的論點,但是無法不感受到那個走過平克心靈經驗的喜悅。

——《新科學人》(New Scientist)雜誌


史迪芬.平克的書是給大腦最好的禮物,每個專門領域的天才專家,都希望自己的文章能寫得像平克一樣——一般大眾都能看懂但又不失其專業性和獨創性;即使是外行人也會深深地被他流暢的文筆所吸引。正統的社會學家和社會生物學家會發現:平克挑戰了他們神聖不可侵犯的教條。像我這種學究(或是其他把gender當做sex的人)會乖乖地領教、洗心革面。就算你不同意平克的論點,還是會為他的聰慧所著迷,無法放下這本書。

——道金斯(R. Dawkins)(《自私的基因》作者)


令人讚賞、充滿風趣,無懈可擊的書。最重要的是,他從來沒有看不起讀者,這本書有個精神:就是基本的人道精神。

——《紐約時報書評》


令人放不下手的好書,充滿了實驗的結果、科學的觀察、卓越的洞悉力,以及強有力的說服力。讀者同時也會感受到平克教授的幽默;史迪芬.平克與密西西比河上的生活作者(馬可吐溫)同屬大師級的人物!

——《科學人》(Scientific American)


平克使用語言的能力就是本書最強而有力的賣點,帶給讀者很多新知,但卻絲毫不會沉悶;就像大衛.艾登堡(David Attenborough)介紹動物生態,在不用術語的情況下,把困難的科學概念講得一清二楚,字如行雲流水般流過你的心頭。本書開創了嶄新的領域,所談的幾乎都是正確的概念,而且非常有趣,你應該買一本來看。

——倫敦《週日泰晤士報》


跑!不要用走的!趕快到最近的書店去買這本《語言本能》。在這本令人暈眩又有趣的知識性書中,平克帶領讀者進入奇妙的語言世界。他省略了一般語言學者的老八股,直接把你帶到語言學的核心。語言是個本能,在發現語言是個本能的過程上,平克讓你發現了心靈的奧秘。了不起的好書!

——葛張尼加(M. Gazzaniga)(加大神經科學研究中心主任)


平克是目前世界上語言學界最頂尖的學者,他非常技巧地捍衛語言的生物機制這個頗有爭議性的議題;在這個過程上,他提供讀者關於語言本質各個問題的最權威答案。《語言本能》是本了不起,不能沒有的書。

——迦納(Howard Gardner)(哈佛大學教授)


平克過去對認知科學很有貢獻,《語言本能》更是劃時代巨作。假如你以為這是喬姆斯基暢銷書的姊妹作,那你就錯了。這本書最特別的地方就是他引用了非常多的發展心理學、認知神經科學,以及演化心理學上的證據來支持他的論點。這是一本極有深度、精彩的書,成功地告訴我們最近人類在習得和應用語言上的新發現,這個人類特殊的能力和科學上的發現一樣令人興奮,一樣卓越。

——倫敦《心靈與語言》(Mind and Language)


出版社 商周出版(城邦)

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018
ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR

"My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates

If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
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