Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Amsterdam School of International Business

There is no blank slate

ther role of geography, genes, brain and behavior in shaping culture


The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002) by Steven Pinker, in which Pinker makes a case against tabula rasa models in the social sciences, arguing that human behavior is substantially shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations.

The conference


Brain science and cultures Florence, April 4nd - 6th 2019 In the year 2002 when Steven Pinker published his “Tabula rasa”, he explained how, based on the physiological activity of the brain, a peculiar “trait” exclusive to the human species makes free choice possible.

In that piece of work, Pinker faced “uncomfortable” issues such as the psychobiological differences between men and women or the genetic components governing violence, intelligence and inner sentiments. Referring back to historical-scientific data he tried to demonstrate that recognising Man’s identity as a result of biological evolution is not a socially dangerous hypothesis, but may even be the indispensable integration of the perceptions given to us, in the past, by art and philosophy.

Reference Nguyen-Phuong-Mai (2019). There is no blank slate: ther role of geography, genes, brain and behavior in shaping culture. In Tabula Rasa? : neuroscience e culture (pp. 71-84). Fondazione Intercultura onlus . http://www.fondazioneintercultura.org/_files/uploads/atti_tabula_rasa.pdf

Publication date

Jan 2019


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