Enlightenment Now

Enlightenment Now

The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
13
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018
ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR

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

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.
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525427575
Branch Call Number: 303.44 Pin
Characteristics: xix, 554 pages : charts ; 25 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
w
wilyman
May 23, 2019

Read up to p.105

n
naturalist
May 04, 2019

recommended:
“Imagine There's No Heaven : How Atheism Helped Create the Modern World”
by Mitchell Stephens
St. Martin's Press (Feb. 25 2014, hc, 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1137002603, ISBN-13: 978-1137002600

f
flygt
Mar 25, 2019

Steven is a good writer but I think he's overly optimistic and like many academics is under the illusion that PC dogma are indisputable facts. The welfare state is unsustainable, people can't eat ideas and good will, collapse (of the west) is what I think is coming.

j
Jewhyte
Feb 17, 2019

Would love to thank Mr. Pinker for writing this one! Wow. A must read for anyone interested understanding the state of the world through the lens of evidence!

j
Jhetto
Aug 08, 2018

Brilliantly deconstructs the contemporary nihilism that shrouds the safest, richest, healthiest, and most liberal period in human history. Pinker backs every claim with data, elevating his arguments above the noisy post-modern babble.

ArapahoeAnnaL Aug 04, 2018

Puts our times in perspective. You'll be grateful for the quality of life science and humanism have made possible!

f
fpm
Jul 05, 2018

The author provides many interesting statistics. What concerns me is the hubris (technological magical thinking) - presuming that whatever problems arise now into the future will be readily resolvable by technical fixes if we just keep that technological faith!

2
21288004246712
May 13, 2018

"lies, damn lies, and statistics"

j
jsboren
Apr 14, 2018

I am on pg 266

y
yewentan
Apr 13, 2018

To check the other reader's comment on economic growth under Obama out of curiosity, I went back to several years, and here we go: GDP growth in Jan 2015, 3.2%; July 2015, 2.7%; Jan 2016, 0.5%; July 2016, 2.8%.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at OPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top