ELSC Heller Lecture Series
Heller Lecture Series in Computational Neuroscience
Prof. Steven Pinker
On the topic of:
The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
Language is the main channel in which human beings share the contents of their consciousness. It thereby offers a window into human nature, revealing the hidden workings of our thoughts, our emotions, and our social relationships. I explore an example of each: semantics as a window into human concepts of space, time, substance, and causality; swearing and taboo language as a window into human emotion; and indirect speechâ€”veiled threats and bribes, polite requests, and sexual come-onsâ€”as a window into human social relationships.