Heller Lecture Series - May 13th 2008

Heller Lecture Series in Computational Neuroscience


Prof. Steven Pinker

Harvard University


 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 speech—veiled threats and bribes, polite requests, and sexual come-ons—as a window into human social relationships.


Los Angeles Building, Lecture Hall #7, Edmond J. Safra Campus