Enlightenment Now: A Manifesto for Science, Reason, Humanism, and Progress
Oneof the world's greatest contemporary thinkers and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature (described by Bill Gates as 'the most inspiring book I have ever read') shows how to think afresh about the human condition and to meet the challenges that confront usIs modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible?If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking intochaos, hatred, and irrationality. Yet Steven Pinker shows that this is an illusion - a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trendlines rather than the headlines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer, happier, morepeaceful, more stimulating and more prosperous - not just in the West, but worldwide. Such progress is no accident: it's the gift of a coherent and inspiring value system that many of us embrace without even realizing it. These are the values of the Enlightenment: of reason, science, humanism and progress.The challenges we face today are formidable, including inequality, climate change, Artificial Intelligence and nuclear weapons. Butthe way to deal with them is not to sink into despair or try to lurch back to a mythical idyllic past; it's to treat them as problems we can solve, as we have solved otherproblems in the past. In making the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st century, Pinker shows how we can use our faculties of reason and sympathy to solve the problems that inevitablycome with being products of evolution in an indifferent universe. We will never have a perfect world, but - defying the chorus of fatalism and reaction - we can continue to make it a better one.
Words can hardly do justice to the superlative range and liveliness of Pinker's investigations * Independent * He writes like an angel -- Matt Ridley * Economist * Praise for The Better Angels of our NatureBrilliant, mind-altering...Everyone should read this astonishing book -- David Runciman * Guardian * 'A supremely important book. To have command of so much research, spread across so many different fields, is a masterly achievement' * The New York Times * [A] sweeping new review of the history of human violence...[Pinker has] the kind of academic superbrain that can translate otherwise impenetrable statistics into a meaningful narrative of human behaviour...impeccable scholarship * Sunday Times * A salutary reality-check...Better Angels is itself a great liberal landmark * Independent * A supremely important book. To have command of so much research, spread across so many different fields, is a masterly achievement. Pinker convincingly demonstrates that there has been a dramatic decline in violence, and he is persuasive about the causes of that decline * The New York Times *