The Moral Instinct
...Moral goodness is what gives each of us the sense that we are worthy human beings. We seek it in our friends and mates, nurture it in our children, advance it in our politics and justify it with our religions. A disrespect for morality is blamed for everyday sins and history's worst atrocities. To carry this weight, the concept of morality would have to be bigger than any of us and outside all of us....
Canadian American experimental psychologist and author. Born in an English-speaking Jewish community of Montreal, Canada, Pinker earned his B.A. in psychology at McGill University and his Ph.D. at Harvard University, where he now teaches. A specialist in the psychology of language and cognition, he has conducted much of his research in the ways that children acquire language. In addition to his scholarly work, Pinker chairs the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary and writes frequently for a general readership, publishing articles in periodicals such as Time and the New York Times. He is the author of five books: The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (1999), The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002), and The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature (2007). See also harvard.edu.