The Stuff of Thought

Language as a Window into Human Nature

Ranked #7 in Linguistics, Ranked #10 in Languagesee more rankings.

In The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, Steven Pinker looks at how the relationship between words and thoughts can help us understand who we are.

Why do so many swear words involve topics like sex, bodily functions or the divine? Why do some children's names thrive while others fall out of favour? Why do we threaten and bribe and seduce in such elaborate, often comical ways? How can a choice of metaphor damn a politician or start a war? And why do we rarely say what we actually mean?

Language, as Steven Pinker shows, is at the heart...

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Stuff of Thought from the world's leading experts.

Dominic Steil [One of the books that had the biggest impact on .] (Source)

Melissa Mohr This is about language more generally, but it has a great chapter on swearing. It’s a really good shorter summary, where he hits all the highlights about swearing and physiology in terms of how it works in the brain and the effects it has on your body. (Source)

Henry Hitchings Recommends this book (Source)

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