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

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

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.

Title:Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780525427575
Format Type:

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

  • Bill Gates

    For years, I’ve been saying Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature was the best book I’d read in a decade. If I could recommend just one book for anyone to pick up, that was it. Pinker ...

  • 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  Beauregard Bottomley

    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...

  • Mario the lone bookwolf

    This concoction and Roslings´ similar „Go on, everything is super.“ Factfulness were the reasons for me to leave the soft space of some humanities that are nothing more than appeasement, belittle...

  • Trevor

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

  • Emily May

    Steven Pinker makes a strong argument for enlightenment principles and, essentially, not giving up on the world because Donald Trump is president. We are not, contrary to popular belief, going backwar...

  • David

    A few months ago, I heard Steven Pinker give a talk about this book. I must say that his speaking skill did not impress me. However, his writing skill is brilliant. This is a very important book--epic...

  • Ross Blocher

    Everyone should read Enlightenment Now. It seems odd to require a defense of reason, science, humanism and progress, but we suffer if we do not understand how far humanity has come by application of t...

  • Rhys

    A paean to the status quo that can be summarized in four words: ‘don’t worry, be happy’. (Actually five words, as one is contracted). This book will no doubt earn the author a lanyard to every c...

  • 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...