Joseph's Reviews > The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature

The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker
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Jul 07, 09

Read in July, 2009

Pinker is a true joy to read, and this book may be his best yet. He examines aspects of human language--including politeness, profanity, metaphor, and the details of word meanings--and shows how they reveal deep structure and knowledge about how our minds conceptualize the world and deal with problem solving and social interactions. As always, Pinker's writing is both smart and witty--the book is packed with scientific findings and often quite technical (though never hard to follow), and I learned a ton (despite having an advanced degree in this field). At the same time, his use of jokes and pop culture references to illustrate his points had me laughing out loud on numerous occasions. All in all, even at 400+ pages, I was left wanting more. Highly recommended for anyone interested in better understanding how we humans work--or for those just in search of a great read that also makes you smarter!
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