Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker
The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

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"My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates

"A terrific book...[Pinker] recounts the progress across a broad array of metrics, from health to wars, the environment to happiness, equal rights to quality of life." --The New York Times

If you think the world is coming to an end, think again. Steven Pinker presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

About Steven Pinker

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Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He is the author of seven books, including The Blank Slate.
Published February 13, 2018 by Viking. 576 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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The bomb? The plague? Trump? Not to worry; things are getting better. So writes eternal optimist Pinker (Psychology/Harvard Univ.; The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, 2011, etc.).

Jan 30 2018 | Read Full Review of Enlightenment Now: The Case f...


He does not limit himself to the Western world, but instead seeks a global point of view, relying on academic works from a dizzying array of disciplines (medicine, history, sociology and psychology) to provide evidence for his claims.

Feb 13 2018 | Read Full Review of Enlightenment Now: The Case f...


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An irony skilfully evaded by Pinker is that there are whole (coherent) systems of thought that make the same claims against the Enlightenment.

Feb 28 2018 | Read Full Review of Enlightenment Now: The Case f...

Business Insider

Gates actually de-throned his old favorite book of all time, "Better Angels" — another Pinker book — to make room for Pinker's new "Enlightenment Now" at the top of Gates' list of all-time favorite books.

Feb 28 2018 | Read Full Review of Enlightenment Now: The Case f...


So Steven Pinker is stretching the genre with his 450-page doorstopper Enlightenment Now: A Manifesto for Science, Reason, Humanism and Progress.

Feb 24 2018 | Read Full Review of Enlightenment Now: The Case f...


I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE!!!1!!1!1" log in or register to reply.

Feb 21 2018 | Read Full Review of Enlightenment Now: The Case f...


Pinker’s hopefulness about the future of a world guided by reason, science and humanism has been criticised, predictably enough, by newspaper columnists – among them Jenni Russell, who in her Times column wrote that Pinker was complacent about supposed catastrophes ranging from social media “bile...

Mar 01 2018 | Read Full Review of Enlightenment Now: The Case f...


And the irony, says Pinker, is that many of the people who’ve led the fight against nuclear weaponry (which poses a diminishing but still very real threat to humanity) simultaneously constitute a major obstacle in the way of our utilizing nuclear power, the dangers of which – given today’s ironcl...

Feb 27 2018 | Read Full Review of Enlightenment Now: The Case f...

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