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Enlightenment now : the case for reason, science, humanism, and progress

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2018] ©2018
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The follow-up to Pinker's groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature 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. Far from being a naive hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Steven Pinker
ISBN: 9780525427575 0525427570 9780525559023 0525559027
OCLC Number: 993692045
Description: xix, 556 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Enlightenment. Dare to understand! ; Entro, evo, info ; Counter-enlightenments --
Progress. ; Progressophobia ; Life ; Health ; Sustenance ; Wealth ; Inequality ; The environment ; Peace ; Safety ; Terrorism ; Democracy ; Equal rights ; Knowledge ; Quality of life ; Happiness ; Existential threats ; The future of progress --
Reason, science, and humanism ; Reason ; Science ; Humanism.
Responsibility: Steven Pinker.

Abstract:

The follow-up to Pinker's groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature 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. Far from being a naive 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.

"Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist 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 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. Pinker makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress."--Jacket.

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