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RECORDED ON March 3rd, 2020.
Dr. Steven Pinker is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time and The Atlantic, and is the author of ten books, including The Language Instinct, How The Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Stuff of Thought, The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, and most recently, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.

In this episode, we go through some of the main topics Dr. Pinker tackles in his work. We start by discussing a new hypothesis put forth by Joe Henrich and his collaborators, about the possible influence the Catholic Church had on the evolution of our WEIRD psychology and the Enlightenment ideas. We then talk about cultural evolution, morality from an evolutionary perspective, and human progress. We also address if our folk psychology tracks scientific findings on human behavior. We also talk about language, and AI. Finally, we go through two questions coming from a patron, about the cognitive niche hypothesis, and the WEIRD problem.

Time Links:
00:44 The Catholic Church and the Enlightenment
07:40 Where did the ideas of the Enlightenment come from?
10:39 On cultural evolution and human nature
17:31 Morality from an evolutionary perspective
25:13 Can we backslide in terms of human progress?
30:28 Does our folk psychology track scientific findings?
36:04 About the idea of massive modularity of the human mind
39:54 Language
43:46 What if we were to reproduce the human brain in an artificial medium?
47:11 Questions from patrons (the cognitive niche hypothesis, and the WEIRD problem)
51:33 Follow Dr. Pinker’s work!

Follow Dr. Pinker’s work:
Faculty page:
Website:
ResearchGate profile:
Books on Amazon:
Twitter handle: @sapinker

A HUGE THANK YOU TO MY PATRONS/SUPPORTERS: KARIN LIETZCKE, ANN BLANCHETTE, PER HELGE LARSEN, LAU GUERREIRO, JERRY MULLER, HANS FREDRIK SUNDE, BERNARDO SEIXAS, HERBERT GINTIS, RUTGER VOS, RICARDO VLADIMIRO, BO WINEGARD, CRAIG HEALY, OLAF ALEX, PHILIP KURIAN, JONATHAN VISSER, DAVID DIAS, ANJAN KATTA, JAKOB KLINKBY, ADAM KESSEL, MATTHEW WHITINGBIRD, ARNAUD WOLFF, TIM HOLLOSY, HENRIK AHLENIUS, JOHN CONNORS, PAULINA BARREN, FILIP FORS CONNOLLY, DAN DEMETRIOU, ROBERT WINDHAGER, RUI INACIO, ARTHUR KOH, ZOOP, MARCO NEVES, MAX BEILBY, COLIN HOLBROOK, SUSAN PINKER, THOMAS TRUMBLE, PABLO SANTURBANO, SIMON COLUMBUS, PHIL KAVANAGH, JORGE ESPINHA, CORY CLARK, AND MARK BLYTH!
A SPECIAL THANKS TO MY PRODUCERS, YZAR WEHBE, ROSEY, JIM FRANK, ŁUKASZ STAFINIAK, IAN GILLIGAN, SERGIU CODREANU, LUIS CAYETANO, AND MATTHEW LAVENDER!
AND TO MY EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, MICHAL RUSIECKI!

I also leave you with the link to a recent montage video I did with the interviews I have released until the end of June 2018:

And check out my playlists on:
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#TheDissenter #StevenPinker #Enlightenment #Psychology

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