Goldin, I. February 16, Gonzalez, C. National Review. July 14, Gopnik, A. The Atlantic. April Gray, J. New Statesman. Green, D. Academe Is Not Anti-Science. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Gwinn, M. The Seattle Times. Ha, T. Hall, B. Book review: Making the case for hopefulness. Providence Journal. May 3, Hanlon, A. Too bad it gets the Enlightenment wrong. May 17, Harari, Y. Yuval Noah Harari. October Harpham, G. Get Shorty: Steven Pinker on the Enlightenment.
Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture. Fall Harris, J. October 15, Hazony, Y. The Dark Side of the Enlightenment. The Wall Street Journal. April 6, Heuman, L. Hodges, P. Older workers are looking for something more. Illing, S. The case for optimism. February 12, Karlsson, R. Doubling Down on Progress. May 1, Kaseko, B. Renowned psychologist Steven Pinker is here to convince you not everything is going to shit. AV Club. Kenney, C. Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. Kenrick, D. Psychology Today.
March 20, Key, P. Kim, J. Inside Higher Ed. April 4, Kolinjivadi, V. The Conversation. May 30, Kristof, N. Lanigan, J. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Leith, S. Only an idiot would choose to live at any other time than the present. The Spectator. March 10, Lent, J. May 21, Leonhardt, D.
December 31, Lind, M. May 8, Lynch, C. Macwhirter, I. Review: Enlightenment Now — the case for reason, science, humanism and progress by Steven Pinker. The Herald. Marino, E. March 17, Marr, A. Evening Standard. Martin, E. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates agree this is one of the best books out right now. May 7, Marty, M. Colorado Springs Gazette.
Mattix, M. The Weekly Standard. February 26, Mcdonagh, M. Monbiot, G. You can deny environmental calamity — until you check the facts. Mondor, C. Moskowitz, C. Breaking News! March 21, Moyn, S. Hype for the Best: Why does Steven Pinker insist that human life is on the up?
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The New Republic. Is the world getting better or worse? Murchison, W. Main Street U. The American Spectator. Queens Gazette. Ovenden, O. Palmer, A.
Can Science Justify Itself? Harvard Magazine. March, Parsons, K. March 5, Penman, S. The Enlightenment Problem of Steven Pinker. Pinker, S. Does the Enlightenment Need Defending? The Institute of Art and Ideas. September 10, Pullum, G. Taleb on Pinker: Neologism and Bile. March 14, Enlighten Me How? August 26, Reese, H. Reese, J. Our treatment of animals is stalling human progress.
Reynoso, D. Friedrich Nietzsche: Nice to Meetcha! September 1, Establishing Some Street Cred. September 15, Rothman, J. Are Things Getting Better or Worse? July 23, Rubenstein, A. Runciman, D. Boston Review. Russell, J. The march of progress can go into reverse. Samuelson, R. The optimists are striking back. Sandbrook, D. We are one of the most prosperous, stable, literate, sophisticated and safest countries on Earth. Daily Mail. Schelby, E. Salon, Sept.
Shelf Awareness for Readers for Friday, March 9, Shelf Awareness. Shermer, M. An optimistic treatise celebrates the enlightened thinking that has made us happier, healthier, and safer than ever. Is Truth an Outdated Concept? Smith-Liang, T. Have we really lost sight of the Enlightenment?
The Daily Telegraph. February 2, Solman, P. Steven Pinker Unplugged. PBS NewsHour. Sullivan, A. Why Are We Miserable? New York Magazine. Suttie, J. Is the World Really Doomed? Greater Good Magazine. April 27, Szalai, J. February 28, Tierney, J. Welcome to the Golden Age. City Journal. Torres, P. May 12, May 13, Tupy, M. Progress is neither certain nor irreversible and Enlightenment values are under attack by extremists. Walsh, C. Wielding data against doom and gloom. The Harvard Gazette. Warner, J. Webb, M. July 13, Weikart, R. Evolution News. Weintraub, K.
November 19, Williams, D. What Steven Pinker gets wrong about economic inequality — and the Enlightenment. Wilson, R. Making the case for the importance of reason. Winegard, B. Enlightenment Contested. Areo Magazine. Winterer, C. Buck up, everyone! Woods, M. Christian Today. Wootton, D. Comfort history. The Times Literary Supplement. Wright, R. April 9, Yawn, M. Steven Pinker knows. Houston Chronicle.
March 6, People in Russia are much happier now that it is governed as Christian autocracy than when it governed as a liberal democracy, therefore liberal democracy is the best system of government. India got better when Congress lost power and Hindu Fundamentalists got a turn running things, therefore liberal democracy is the best system of government.
Liberal countries are more liberal and I made up a metric according to which more liberal is better, so liberalism is better, QED. Not satisfied? Look at his list of references. Can you do that? The story is that we have several Pinkerite atheists around who evangelize their disbelief and The Pinker a bit much for the rest of us who are not fundamentalist materialist humanists.
Rather than fight the power, we decided to embrace it in a transformative way. The goal is to get one of the Pinkerites to mention or better yet to quote Steven Pinker as quickly as possible. My colleague holds the all-time speed record. This article would seem to be terminal proof of what our dearly departed brother we miss you Baggins! Pinker is arguing with an empty chair and getting clicks, because he says in his books what many mediocre minds are thinking, and it tickles them.
I had forgotten. That rant by Baggins may have been the best thing every published by Quillette. He should have been paid. I still maintain he is was? Poetry, in fact. Just what Pinker and these celebrity intellectuals do. Two guys slanging over an unfalsifiable hypothesis. Are people watching us?? No one knows what the Scroto Baggins is. It comes like a shadow to the comments thread, then disappears again, leaving only scratchings of brilliance behind and the charred remains of the verbose ignorant. I have seen them. Lots of us have seen them.
If you stick around long enough, you might see them, too. Once his cynicism has touched you, you are forever changed. And you might see him soon, sooner than you want to. If anything is going to bring Baggins out to terrorize the villagers, this Pinker piece will. Bit of a floating predicate here. All of it! No bother. Not only that, but his definitions of progress are hysterical. People in old folks homes have zero murder rates, too. In so many ways, modernity is a rolling travesty. Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and self-perception disorders such as anorexia are skyrocketing among the young in the UK and America.
In countless ways, the soul of man in the West has been hollowed out beyond recognition. That would be as silly as what Pinkerites are trying to do. I think Nassim Taleb is just looking for attention slanging with Pinker. The only thing sillier that someone who puts forward an unfalsifiable hypothesis is the guy like Taleb who tries to falsify an unfalsifiable hypothesis by inventing words and blustering. Pinker is symptomatic of most of the bourgeois Academy. Pinker fancies himself a Big Thinker and a philosopher.
I very much doubt history will be kind to him. Remember: Harvard is now where David Hogg goes to carrege. Sounds about right. So romantic. Enough procrastination. Personally, as a man in the West, I am not fat, not lonely, not childless, not over-medicated, and especially not exhausted, ontologically or otherwise. I am, however, godless. It is a I think I would be depressed and questioning the meaning of life as well if I was putting lipstick on my hand and calling it Sally.
While Innominata does win a rank ng for the snark award, it appears that the comment is more about projection and avoidance than with addressing the issues. I wish Pinkerton had addressed in this essay how academia has monetized —and weaponized- the anti-Enlightenment, focusing especially on the apocalyptic claptrap dressed as research today. Your faith in me is touching, but I must correct you on a coupla two points. Love him. Steven Pinker saved my life, just like he rehabilitated the Weltanschauung of that teacher quoted at the end of the article—the one that Pinker published for our benefit, in spite of the risk that haters might call him a self-congratulatory narcissist.
Before I found Steven Pinker, I lay all day in my bed weeping about global warning and baseless fears about the godless Red Chinese communists, consumed with Jesus-y stuff and irreasonable belief, unable to circumambulate my garret. I had purchased a table from Ikea, and one leg was shorter than the others.
It wobbled, and no matter how hard I prayed to Jesus or Allah for a short time , the table leg never grew. I had given up. My coffee stayed on the table for the first time in ten years. Pinker was right: Jesus or Allah could not fix my table leg, but Enlightenment and reason could. I began to see that I could have faith in something other than blind faith. They are wrong. I can provide citations for this in peer-reviewed journals and they cannot.
They are afraid of coming out of the cave. Steven Pinker irrefutably demonstrates using science and reason that reason and science are more reasonable and scientific than unscience and unreason. Ergo, the world is getting better and better. Graphs never lie. And Petros: I am most certainly not someone well known. Because I know who you really are. Love your books. Innominata — Are you joking? Try looking closely at the entire intellectual political left progressives. They believe heartily in censorship and the social-media equivalent of book burning. They are the new fascists. Because sane, libertarian-leaning people like Pinker rarely run for politics, voters are left to choose between authoritarian progressives and authoritarian populists.
Somebody has to!!! Good on you, Dr. David Bentley Hart, a serious thinker? Rather a pompous pontificator. Will he defeat Pinker with the Gish gallop or obscurantist references to the ultimate ground of being? Like many countries, the USA has entertained much more socialism and government control over our lives, with many demanding even more. Liberty and equal protection work best; once someone has a forced solution to whatever problem they claim exists, expect more depression, less progress, more anger, less acceptance.
That your argument is based on falsehoods and exagerrations suggest that you know it is nonsense. The Rotherham child abuse scandal was shocking and showed a systematic failure in the systems intended to protect children but the fact there are such systems, that we are shocked by them and that those responsible were eventually jailed shows that things are not as bad as you suggest.
That this sort of event in unusual and that more broadly society has reacted to make similar occurences less likely. There were no reports of any children in Rotherham branded with an iron. In fact how could you do that? There was a report that a girl in Oxford was branded with hairpin. Some of the parents in Rotherham were thretened with arrest but for public order offences not for hate speech. That this sort of event in unusual and that more broadly society has reacted to make similar occurrences less likely.
It was a good sight more unusual for foreign gangs to own 10,s of thousands of English women in with the active connivance of government and police at all levels. Some of us are just picky I guess. Instead, they might be back in government in 6 months. Not one of the 10,s of thousands of government employees who participated in the cover up has been punished at all, unlike people who tried to do something about it who continue to face police harassment and imprisonment on trumped up charges.
Such a useful trope of the Left. What has this got to do with having a liberal government? Unfortunately such abuse of young girls is worldwide. So who stops such abuse in countries with no such Liberalism? At least in UK when such scandals are xposed they actaully are dealt with. The fact that the sharpest increase in reported happiness among the countries Pinker cites happened in Russia as it transitioned away from being a liberal democracy into being a Christian autocracy is clear evidence against liberal democracy being the best system of government, at least not everywhere, at leas not all the time.
Pinker, however, in his inimitable way cites it as a further proof that liberal democracy is the best form of government, always, everywhere and that any alternatives are bad and doomed. This phenomenon of countries moving from democracy to right-wing authoritarianism and standards of government markedly improving is the single most salient phenomena of our age.
We see it clearly in Israel, Hungary, Poland. Sooner or later, everyone is going to wake up to the obvious reality that right wing authoritarianism just works better once you take away the weird race mysticism and militarism that it got mixed up with in the 20th century. Pinker is Baghdad Bob with worse hair.
None of these countries have Muslim colonists owning thousands of drug-addict indigenous women as slaves with the active support of the police and local government. What are you even talking about? The invariably bizarre and ridiculous responses supporters of liberal democracy make when confronted with the literally unprecedented occurrences in Rotherham and other cities shows — as if further proof is necessary — that liberal democracy is a dead man walking.
Enjoy seeing everything you revere destroyed in the next few decades. I sure will. I have looked it up. Or he cites Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. Neither of them shows Russia to be among the happiest. So exactly what are you talking about? Which graph? Which book?
More baloney. Fact mixed with fiction. There are no thousands of drug-addicted women being controlled by Muslims. They preyed mostly on vulnerable kids — girls — not women. What are you talking about? Liberal democracy is alive and well — although under some challenge over issues like free speech. And it is easily the best form of government. This can clearly be seen by people with eyes who are not functionally retarded. After decades of pleading that failed experiments with socialism were not true socialism, now the Left is trying to tell us that wildly successful experiments with right-wing authoritarianism are not true right wing authoritarianism.
There were more than 1, victims in Rotherham alone, there have been more than 20 other discovered cases and there are dozens more cases that have not been brought to light. You do the math. Out of about ten countries. Despite the increase, it is lower than most Liberal Democracies. And there is no causal relationship between such increase and the country turning more autocratic under Putin. Well, none that you have shown anyway. Even if true, still does NOT mean these countries are not democratic. All leaders in such countries were elected.
If they do something akin to what Putin has done — then fine. Else clearly not. Netanyahu, Obran and co are NOT wildly successful and they are not undemocratic. Their rule lasts till the people decide. You really seem to live in complete fantasy land. You make things up. This is fact mixed with fiction. Such Muslims preyed on vulnerable young girls from poor backgrounds and NOT on adult females addicted to drugs.
Accuracy — something you lack in by the bucket loads. Once more. Only in such liberal countries such things are exposed and then dealt with. In your favourite countries like Russia — they are not. More fantasy. A lot wer born and bred in UK and they were eventually exposed and jailed. Notice — this does not happen in the autocratic system you seem to prefer. Therefore, you are unreasonable and an enemy of The Enlightenment.
I use it all the time with my kids. And I guarantee you, they are coming. His fame can only protect him to a point. If he has any sense, he will move to a bunker in Idaho and wait this one out. I will miss the man. He seems like a pretty good guy. His ideas about politics I will get along without.
Only he does it with the voice. Look it up on the YouTube. You will have to excuse me. Gee, might that put excessive strain on the welfare state, not to mention on Western nations generally? But there is no way that Western oligarchs with shared class interests would ever engage in something like that. We all saw that Carl Benjamin is a bad boy, no more ability to earn a paycheck for him! Like those two warmongering hysterics, and like Pinker himself, it is the function of the Quillette crowd, in politics, to lend a naive rationalist faith to the technocratic globalist agenda.
National sovereignty, and the desire of ordinary people to govern themselves, are to be subordinated to the calculations of large expert organizations, many of them transnational. And all this while Europe is gradually dying off, with America perhaps not far behind. Well met. But to be honest, I quit coming to Quillette after sampling 10 or so articles. It is somewhat surprising to me that you would publish here, kinda like it was surprising that you interviewed with Jordan Peterson. I suppose you would be surprised that there are people who are interested in well presented ideas even if they disagree with them.
I disagree with Professor Pinker on many points, but his views are a pleasure to read, and a proper challenge to my own. You should consider getting out of your echo chambers more often and engage with people who will challenge your ideas. Yes, why bother looking at references? Thank you, Stephen Pinker, for publishing through Quillette. Good things are happening here. Myself included. The scarcitiy of economic niches for academics puts them into a competitive mindset.
dirty doubles dominant and the dark hungers of ra Manual
At the same time, the ways of earning your place in academia can appear arcane and unfair. This turns anger to resentment and makes them attack those who impersonate their values. Sorry for the mistake. The data might lead to him drawing different conclusions on the Trump topic. So his TDS rather undermined an otherwise excellent piece, there is a lot to take from these arguments. Thanks to the author. Obama never did anything like that including giving billions to Iran to do nothing.
Also, Trump is killing the environment apparently by pulling out of imaginary feel good climate deals meanwhile India and China are opening up new coal plants daily. Also, the United States is one of the leading reducers in emissions year after year. A compelling argument can be made Trump has done more for minorities and the poor in two years then Obama did in 8 years. Yes, the piece was strong in most areas but he went off the rails with Trump and Brexit. Very unfortunate. So you like government shutdowns over a fight for a border wall to protect us from hoards of terrorists and murders and rapists?
So you think global trade should be less free, that protectionist tariffs for underperforming companies is wise? So you think an immigrant without documentation is a criminal, despite not harming anybody? So you think lying daily, showing ignorance of history repeatedly, and sucking up to Russia is good?
So you think his collapsed administration is good? So you think tax cuts that have increased deficits dramatically during a strong economy that he inherited is wise economics? So you think not doing anything about climate change is wise? That he puts Kushner in charge of middle east peace? That the rise of nationalism and open white supremacy is good? Your forgot the to mention how Republicans want to eat children and the time when Trump led the Belgian genocide. But partisanship is a complex passion which permits those who indulge in it to make the best of both worlds.
Because they do these things for the sake of a group which is, by definition, good and even sacred, they can admire themselves and loathe their neighbors, they can seek power and money, can enjoy the the pleasures of aggression and cruelty, not merely without feeling guilty, but with a positive glow of conscious virtue.
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And with certain qualifications, this is in fact what they are. The only trouble is that their altruism is merely egotism at one remove, and that the ideal, for which they are ready in many cases to lay down their lives, is nothing but the rationalization of cooperate interesting and party passions.
Thanks for that quotation from Huxley. I much prefer whoremongers and money-grubbers to political activists. The latter are usually very badly educated and boring. The former are often sharp and fun. Depending on whether you understand modern monetary theory, sovereign states that issue their own currency can carry deficits infinitum. What we may be seeing in the slow down of the world economy is the effect of post financial crisis QE coming to roost in our trading partners world wide.
This is a derivative collateral damage as a result of global currency markets and speculation on the US Dollar that we can protect against as the original issuer, but other countries cannot. Illegal aliens are criminals by definition. Most of them are also identity thieves, at a minimum. Misdemeanor, you know, like jay walking. Sorry but a misdemeanor is a criminal offence. A lesser offence, but still punishable by fines or jail time. Actually, under federal immigration law, it subjects you to deportation. Jaywalking is a local misdemeanor, not a federal offense.
Your TDS is showing. Which I will not give as you are not a serious person. Give it a shot of rational consideration please. Like 40! So could you afford some rational consideration? The one thing more extreme than his conduct is the near-religious belief that he is an antiChrist. David Chandler, not David of Kirkland. Stick with what you know, it will serve you better. David Chandler, I agree. Exactly my thoughts. Funny how even the most brilliant are susceptible to irrational hatred of the Orange King, no matter the number of his historic accomplishments.
Public intellectuals like Mr. Pinker, Sam Harris, Jonathan Haidt, and Brett Weinstein remind me of what true liberalism is capable of when it is not corrupted by fashionable neo-Marxist variants or the utopianism and narcissism of isolated and fatuous ivory tower activists. That all of these men are considered anachronisms or useful idiots or sell-outs by many on the contemporary progressive-left is a sad reminder of how far that movement has distanced itself from the civilizational foundations of the West e.
Yet each of them seems to think the social right even moderate is somehow more of a threat, despite being beaten down into irrelevance and into the lowest classes for 60 years straight. Whatever happened to enlightenment humanism? They sound awfully similar to the SJWs they criticize….
Love Narratively? So do we.
Perhaps some poetic justice is in order when they lose the ability to express how the entire universe was sexist until because they, themselves, were accused of being sexist first. Having an opinion on significant current issues is not against enlightment values, not being willing to listen to other points of view and not seeking to base judgements and opinions on evidence and rational argument is. He frequently contradicts himself and seems not in teh least embarassed when he state sthinsg which ar enot true or which contradict previous statements of his.
He also quite openely seeks to undermine respect for the rule of law and legal and judicial instituitions. How significant his actions are is open to question. Wider instituitions limit the effect of this and ho time in office will necessarily be limited but he is certainly a prominent anti-enlightenment figure. Brexit is not as clear cut as both sides have sought to make rational arguments. This has not been universal George Osbornes pre-vote statements were clearly groundless hyperbole as are many brexiteer statements.
Holding an opinion on either side including that your oponenst are idiots is not against enlightment principles as long as you are open to rational argument and evidence on the subject. I heartily agree with this assessment. The work of these public intellectuals informs and encourages my own work in trying to counteract ideology, authoritarianism and irrationality, i. I admire Pinker tremendously but not blindly.
His chapter on the environment was misguided due to his reliance on self interested and biased scientists and I told him so. The real error was in not looking at the planet, its systems and its species, which in the end are far more important for humanity than curing disease or hunger. The failure to articulate the dependence of humans on Nature, and the corollary belief that the improvement of human welfare is the highest goal are not just destructive to human society but lethal. Resolving the ecological crises will subsume all the other social justice problems which concern the left, but a single minded focus on social justice will NOT resolve the ecological problems!
This is why the ongoing co-opting by social justice activist of the environmental movement and of the debate over climate change is going to erect huge obstacles to achieve anything like ecological sanity. Ideology of any stripe is arbitrary and the success of any ideology never assured.
The left needs to consider the fact that its own doctrines may not prevail. But in the meantime time is growing shorter for the whole planet, and when the heat hits the fan as it already is social justice concerns will fall by the wayside, and totalitarian methods of governance will prevail to deal with the multiple crises that will afflict and undermine human society and ultimately civilization. Ah, a Harvard professor criticizing lowly peasants for wanting to regain dignity in the form of populism.
Down you dogs! Globalization is objective salvation. Be grateful; and remember, racism is bad, mmkay? The results are likely to be dismal. Economics, like our lives, work best with the least government control. Pinker commits the Leftist sin of considering the Right as The Other. It was premeditated, first-degree murder of our own people. Heike And the funny thing is that the working classes constantly vote for lefties, because lefties support more welfare.
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More welfare of course makes thinks worse for the working class and turns them into the underclass. The fact is that the richer you are, the more likely you are to be right wing. There is a cadre or noisy lefties who are well off, but they inevitably became that way because they were the beneficiaries of government largesse or crony capitalism. Nobody can love their neighbor by enslaving them. I think Dr. Pinker would encourage you to look at the data. No one is claiming life is better in Nicaragua.
The problems can be fixed, of course, but not by denying their existence. He said it is a backward country, which it is not. All of these stats are skewed to some degree by massive influx of non-citizens. As well the result of repetitive labor jobs being automated or outsourced leaving many mired in near poverty and reliant on government welfare. You could say the same is true of many European countries except that the U. S is the 3rd most populous nation on Earth, the numbers dwarf any one of the European nations used for comparison purposes.
Steven Pinker is dishonest snake in the grass. No counter-arguments. Please provide the examples where reducing liberty, making laws unequal in who they protect, where government manages economies and businesses best, and…. You cherry pick what you all feel was good about the enlightenment while purposefully ignoring how power actually functioned in the world at that time.
And just like always, the philosophy came behind the actual ethos of the time to pretend it was higher values shaping a new world order. Are there good things that emerged from that time period, yes of course, but the idea that the bad somehow is not a by product of enlightenment thought is pure stupidity. They are planned by the elites of their time. You write as though before the Enlightenment there was peace and love for all mankind. You point to power — the usual uni-dimensional argument from a Humanities student. Yes, peace and love before those horrible, write men wrote some books.
Nice try, mate. Where do you think the ideas upon which the West was built came from? Do you believe that we managed to implement those ideas in a 3-month period? Or is it possible those ideas needed time to materialise? Whoa, moral philosophy can aim to be…. Classic buffoonery, which is exactly what I expect from you people.
What would be interesting is if you could make an argument that all of the horrors that took place during the enlightenment had no connection to enlightenment thought. Because it was enlightenment thinkers who came up with that racist junk science while justifying genocide, enslavement, and colonization in the obsequious service to power. Meaning it was central to enlightenment thinking. In fact it was the exact opposite.
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