Enlightenment Now

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

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Oneof the world's greatest contemporary thinkers and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature (described by Bill Gates as 'the most inspiring book I have ever read') shows how to think afresh about the human condition and to meet the challenges that confront us

Is modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible?

If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking intochaos, hatred, and irrationality. Yet Steven Pinker shows that this is an illusion - a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trendlines rather than the headlines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer, happier, morepeaceful, more stimulating and more prosperous - not just in the West, but worldwide. Such progress is no accident: it's the gift of a coherent and inspiring value system that many of us embrace without even realizing it. These are the values of the Enlightenment: of reason, science, humanism and progress.

The challenges we face today are formidable, including inequality, climate change, Artificial Intelligence and nuclear weapons. Butthe way to deal with them is not to sink into despair or try to lurch back to a mythical idyllic past; it's to treat them as problems we can solve, as we have solved otherproblems in the past. In making the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st century, Pinker shows how we can use our faculties of reason and sympathy to solve the problems that inevitablycome with being products of evolution in an indifferent universe. We will never have a perfect world, but - defying the chorus of fatalism and reaction - we can continue to make it a better one.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 32mm | 637g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241337011
  • 9780241337011
  • 1,748

Review Text

My new favourite book of all time Bill Gates
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Review quote

My new favourite book of all time -- Bill Gates A salutary reminder of the material progress modern science and commerce have delivered * The New York Times * Words can hardly do justice to the superlative range and liveliness of Pinker's investigations * Independent * Pinker is a paragon of exactly the kind of intellectual honesty and courage we need -- David Brooks * The New York Times * If 2017 was a rough year for you, look no further than Steven Pinker's engaging new book, Enlightenment Now, to cheer you up. Conceived before Donald Trump even announced his candidacy, it could not have been better timed to clarify - and, for some, refute - the habits of mind that brought Trump and the GOP to power ... Pinker's gift is to challenge us not only to update the Enlightenment, but to think beyond it * Washington Post * Negative news is one reason why people consistently underestimate the progress humanity is making. To discern the true state of the world, Pinker says, we should use numbers. In Enlightenment Now, he does just that. The result is magnificent, uplifting and makes you want to rush to your laptop and close your Twitter account ... Pinker is surely right. Things are not falling apart. * Economist * A valuable book ... Enlightenment Now can hardly be bettered * Boston Globe * Persuasive... Pinker's book focuses on the Enlightenment as a philosophical perspective, as a distinctive way of looking at the position of individuals within modern society. Enlightenment Now is a spirited defence of the enduring ideals of this tradition * Times Higher Education * A careful and deeply researched piece of work ... Pinker is bravely prepared to be the bearer of good news * Guardian * The most uplifting work of science I've ever read * Science * A highly topical and much-needed book * New Statesman * Pinker is ahead of his critics... [he] is in no way complacent. To accuse him of smugly sipping cocktails at the End of History cafe is simply to ignore his repeated calls to work for the better future that is there for the taking, but also for the losing -- Julian Baggini * Literary Review * In his new book, Enlightenment Now, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker makes a more convincing case for the sciences benefiting the arts * New Scientist * He's one of the most original, agenda-setting writers of our time... his best book yet... this is the biggest story of our time. * Spectator *
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About Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is one of the world's most influential thinkers and writers on the human condition. His popular and highly praised books include The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct. The recipient of several major awards for his teaching, books, and scientific research, Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He also writes frequently for The New York Times, the Guardian and other publications. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazine's "The World's Top 100 Public Intellectuals," Foreign Policy's "100 Global Thinkers," and Time magazine's "The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today."
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Rating details

548 ratings
4.29 out of 5 stars
5 55% (302)
4 27% (150)
3 12% (67)
2 3% (15)
1 3% (14)
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