Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.
Pinker has been named as one of the world's most influential intellectuals by various magazines. He has won awards from the American Psychological Association, the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and the American Humanist Association. He delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. He has served on the editorial boards of a variety of journals, and on the advisory boards of several institutions. He has frequently participated in public debates on science and society.
In Enlightenment Now, Pinker argues that our twenty-first-century world would benefit greatly from a revitalization of the values of reason, science, humanism and progress. In contrast with the somber tenor of most social commentary, Enlightenment Now is a celebration of human accomplishment and the enlightenment goals for human betterment that will keep progress coming.
Harvard psychologist and public intellectual Steven Pinker offers us his case for rationality and attempts to answer the question we often ask: “What’s the matter with people?” Pinker argues that, at some level, reason is inescapable—but that has hardly stopped people from trying to flee it. As long as people reject reason’s society-promoting tools (logic, philosophy, mathematics, statistics, and so on), we miss out on the ability to think and solve problems clearly, and we invite needless pain and chaos into our world.
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