Pinker and the Brain; Great Minds; Exclusive Online Issues; by Alden M. Hayashi; 2 Page(s)
Steven Pinker does not shy away from fights. Over the years, he has taken on feminists, romanticists, psychoanalysts and fellow linguists, including the brilliant Noam Chomsky. But perhaps his most noted clash has been with Stephen Jay Gould, the paleobiologist. The intellectual feud between the two men, which also involves other leading evolutionary theorists, eventually landed on the front page of the Boston Globe.
So it is with some sense of trepidation that I meet Pinker, the 44-yearold professor of psychology and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. Entering his home, a beautifully remodeled Victorian house a short walk from Harvard University, I am expecting a churlish gadfly. But I am immediately disarmed by his soft-spoken and affable manner.