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Book Title: Het taalinstinct|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 982 KB
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The author of the book: Steven Pinker
Edition: Uitgeverij Olympus
Date of issue: August 2008
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
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Reader ratings: 7.4
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Taal is universeel. Ongeacht cultuur of afkomst is taal ons belangrijkste instrument, maar hoe taal precies werkt en zelfs wat het eigenlijk is, is nog grotendeels onduidelijk. In elk geval zijn taal en bewustzijn nauw verweven. Hoe kun je gedachten en emoties bij andere mensen laten ontstaan, alleen maar door met je mond geluid te maken? Waar komt deze verbazingwekkende eigenschap vandaan?
Het taalinstinct gaat onder meer over hoe mensen taal maken en begrijpen, hoe peuters leren spreken, hoe ons taalapparaat in de genen ligt verankerd en in onze hersenen is gegroeid, en hoe taal ontstond. De vele voorbeelden uit de alledaagse taalpraktijk die Pinker geeft, zijn vaak erg grappig en altijd verhelderend. Als geen ander is hij in staat om de fascinatie van zijn onderzoek naar de ontwikkeling van taal en taalverwerving bij de lezer over te brengen.
Steven Pinker is professor in psychologie aan de Harvard Universiteit. Hij is de auteur van verschillende bestsellers: Hoe de menselijke geest werkt, Het onbeschreven blad en De stof van het denken. Het unieke van Steven Pinker is dat hij zijn antwoorden op zoveel terreinen zoekt: psychologie, taalkunde, evolutiebiologie – en dat maakt hem ook meteen iemand die vanuit veel hoeken op debat en controverse kan rekenen.
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Read information about the authorSteven Arthur Pinker is a prominent Canadian-American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and author of popular science. Pinker is known for his wide-ranging advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time, and The New Republic, and is the author of seven books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, Words and Rules, The Blank Slate, and most recently, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.
He was born in Canada and graduated from Montreal's Dawson College in 1973. He received a bachelor's degree in experimental psychology from McGill University in 1976, and then went on to earn his doctorate in the same discipline at Harvard in 1979. He did research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for a year, then became an assistant professor at Harvard and then Stanford University. From 1982 until 2003, Pinker taught at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, and eventually became the director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. (Except for a one-year sabbatical at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1995-6.) As of 2008, he is the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard.
Pinker was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2004 and one of Prospect and Foreign Policy's 100 top public intellectuals in 2005. He has also received honorary doctorates from the universities of Newcastle, Surrey, Tel Aviv, McGill, and the University of Tromsø, Norway. He was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, in 1998 and in 2003. In January 2005, Pinker defended Lawrence Summers, President of Harvard University, whose comments about the gender gap in mathematics and science angered much of the faculty. On May 13th 2006, Pinker received the American Humanist Association's Humanist of the Year award for his contributions to public understanding of human evolution.
In 2007, he was invited on The Colbert Report and asked under pressure to sum up how the brain works in five words – Pinker answered "Brain cells fire in patterns."
Pinker was born into the English-speaking Jewish community of Montreal. He has said, "I was never religious in the theological sense... I never outgrew my conversion to atheism at 13, but at various times was a serious cultural Jew." As a teenager, he says he considered himself an anarchist until he witnessed civil unrest following a police strike in 1969. His father, a trained lawyer, first worked as a traveling salesman, while his mother was first a home-maker then a guidance counselor and high-school vice-principal. He has two younger siblings. His brother is a policy analyst for the Canadian government. His sister, Susan Pinker, is a school psychologist and writer, author of The Sexual Paradox.
Pinker married Nancy Etcoff in 1980 and they divorced 1992; he married Ilavenil Subbiah in 1995 and they too divorced. His current wife is the novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein. He has no children.
He is currently working on an upcoming book about the evolution of human morality, specifically focusing on "the historical decline of violence and its psychological roots" as stated by the author himself on the Harvard website.
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