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

de Steven Pinker

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2,037578,094 (4.05)20
Psychology. Science. Sociology. Nonfiction. HTML: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. By the author of the new book, Rationality.

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 ou
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Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
First, decades ago, Edgar Cayce, “the Sleeping Prophet,” tells me that animals don’t have souls; Now, come to find out, or, according to Stephen Pinker that is; people don’t have them either. Meanwhile, Deepak Chopra tells me; no, we don’t HAVE souls, we ARE souls. Well, alright. We all have opinions about the noumenal world. And if I understood it right, one of the things the author is telling us is that, some of them come from the Age of Enlightenment, and some we only think did.
Mr. Pinker immerses us in the Age of Enlightenment's principles and varying philosophies, quoting from the movement's various members and arguing for (science, humanism, logic) and against (brands of metaphysics that drift into religion) those ideas and/or our assumptions about them, while citing and praising the many actual results.
For the most part, I liked what the author had to say. Fortified with numerous charts and graphs, he explains all the ways in which mankind is better off, not worse, than it ever was before, despite the prevalent fears engendered by the media and several common failures of cognitive function (such as a tendency to assume that correlation=causation, or an assumption that an anecdote is as strong, evidentially, as statistics---although he often opts for the anecdote to make a point).
I’m guessing that few will agree with every conclusion he comes to, or appreciate the criticisms that are flung left and right . . . though I’d say, most of his sympathies lay with the former, politically speaking.
With a few reservations, all in all, I’d say it’s an enlightening book. 😊
(Narrated by Arthur Morey) ( )
  TraSea | Apr 29, 2024 |
I love and loathe this book all at once. It speaks very powerfully to much of what I feel, and then sometimes seems to get things so staggeringly, simplistically wrong that I want to shout my opinions in the town square.

It will be a while before I can write an even-handed review on this one. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
My favorite part was when Pinker used big data and graphs to explain his arguments (even though they all seemed to be taken from the same source, and half of them seemed to be a rehash of what was in his last book before this one). My least favorite part was when he was pontificating all the rest of the time. ( )
  sanyamakadi | Apr 4, 2024 |
Un libro de la razón, pensar, reflexionar para llegar a una conclusión o formar juicios de una determinada situación o cosa. Por momentos creo que la defensa cae en la intolerancia de las otras creencias (en la ofensa a los otros pensamientos), siendo alguno de los mismo errores que cometen las otra creencias, creo que parte del humanismo es la tolerancia. Encontrar la forma de poder vivir en paz “todas” las creencia, es el problema a resolver (sin extremismos y humanismo). ( )
  keplerhc | Jan 22, 2024 |
Would someone help Steven Pinker to shut up, please? Masss of statistics aren’t an unquestionable argument. And no, he isn’t a great writer. Self-promoter, perhaps. ( )
  Jambyfool | Jan 10, 2024 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Pinker wants the liberal arts to fit inside a STEM-shaped box, and he is happy to resize them with a chainsaw if need be. For Pinker, concepts like narrative and rhetoric wither before objectivity and reason. He emphasizes figures and facts without considering the framing that allows us to interpret them, or the significance of arguments that would challenge them. “Fashionable academic movements like postmodernism and critical theory,” he complains, “hold that reason, truth, and objectivity are social constructions that justify the privilege of dominant groups.” But Pinker does not seriously engage with any of the vast literature on postmodernism and critical theory, apparently assuming that his expertise in psychology and linguistics provides sufficient standing to insert himself into any and every academic conversation.
 

Sixteen years ago, in his book “Blank Slate,” he acknowledged that false conceptions about human nature in unequal societies make it “easy [for the rich] to blame the victim and tolerate inequality.” He allows that if “social status is relative,” then “extreme inequality can make people on the lower rungs of society feel defeated.” He sees real consequences.... But in “Enlightenment Now,” Pinker celebrates inequality as “a harbinger of opportunity.” Observing these differences in his work some 16 years apart, it seems that he has not become the champion of Enlightenment ideas in this respect, but rather has forgotten them without even noticing.
adicionado por danielx | editarWashington Post, David Lay Williams (Mar 11, 2018)
 
Enlightenment Now ... is a dogmatic book that offers an oversimplified, excessively optimistic vision of human history and a starkly technocratic prescription for the human future. It also gives readers the spectacle of a professor at one of the world’s great universities treating serious thinkers with populist contempt. The genre it most closely resembles, with its breezy style, bite-size chapters, and impressive visuals, is not 18th-century philosophie so much as a genre in which Pinker has had copious experience: the TED Talk
adicionado por rybie2 | editarThe Nation, David A. Bell (Mar 8, 2018)
 

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Morey, ArthurNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The second half of the second decade of the third millennium would not seem to be an auspicious time to publish a book on the historical sweep of progress and its causes.
What is enlightenment?
In the course of several decades giving public lectures on language, mind, and human nature, I have been asked some mighty strange questions. [Introduction]
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Psychology. Science. Sociology. Nonfiction. HTML: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. By the author of the new book, Rationality.

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 ou

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