Book ID: CBB592043323

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (2018)


Pinker, Steven (Author)


Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 576
Language: English

If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: 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.]

Reviewed By

Review Nicholas Maxwell (2018) Review of "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress". Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (pp. 347-350). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Gascoigne, John
Curthoys, Patricia
Arnaud, Sabine M.
Fisher, George C.
Schwegman, Jeffrey
Michel, Andreas
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
Journal of the History of Ideas
Humanities and Technology Review
Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Science and Education
Cambridge University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Fordham University Press
University of Minnesota
MIT Press
Progress, ideas of
Philosophy of science
Science and politics
Pomme, Pierre
Voltaire, François Marie Arouet de
Condillac, Étienne Bonnot de
Cook, James
Spinoza, Baruch
Time Periods
21st century
18th century
20th century
17th century
19th century
United States
Pacific Ocean
School of Milan
Royal Society of London

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