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

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


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

"A terrific book...[Pinker] recounts the progress across a broad array of metrics, from health to wars, the environment to happiness, equal rights to quality of life." --The New York Times

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.

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.

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Title:Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Edition Language:English
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    Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress Reviews

  • David Wineberg

    You’ve never had it so good, and Steven Pinker has the stats and charts (over 70!) to prove it. Wars are fewer and less severe, homicides are down, racism is in decline, terrorism is a fading fad, d...

  • Gary

    When this book was not boring me it was irritating me. All of the author’s anecdotes I had read elsewhere. Science is good. I don’t need convincing. Vaccines work. Poverty is bad and is getting be...

  • Jillian Doherty

    Ever since Bill Gates tweeted his endorsement for Pinker's Better Angels, fans have rushed to support his writing of big ideas by big thinkers!Enlightenment Now illustrates Pinker's practical yet tang...

  • Trevor

    Why I won't be reading this:https://www.theguardian.com/commentis......

  • Atila Iamarino

    Tudo o que esperava e um pouco mais. O livro é uma continuação do Os Anjos Bons da Nossa Natureza: Por Que a Violência Diminuiu, onde o Pinker escreve porque a humanidade está progredindo em quas...

  • Charles

    As with Steven Pinker’s earlier "The Better Angels of Our Nature," of which this is really an expansion and elucidation, I was frustrated by this book. On the one hand, Pinker is an able thinker and...

  • Alex MacMillan

    In his newest book, (Neoliberalism) Now: The Case for (Positivism), Scien(tism), (Atheism), and (Globalization), Steven Pinker seeks to cash in on the Trump election by rushing out what is mostly a re...

  • Mark

    As in The Better Angels of our Nature, Steven Pinker shows us why we have to look beyond the news cycle and our own biases to examine the forces that have continuously improved conditions for the bulk...

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    I really enjoy Pinker's books. I think I have read all of them. I enjoyed this one as well despite some of my political differences with Pinker. I laud his hailing of the enlightenment. I am with him...

  • Richard

    Pinker’s latest is getting a lot of press, of course.Here are a few links:His own synopsis at the Wall Street Journal: The Enlightenment Is Working (paywall; try Googling wsj The Enlightenment Is ...