Enlightenment Now

The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Boek omdraaien

Uitgever: Viking

Auteur: Steven Pinker
  • Engels
  • 9780525559023
  • januari 2018
  • Paperback
  • 528 pagina's
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Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker (1954) is de schrijver van bestsellers als Het taalinstinct, Hoe de menselijke geest werkten het monumentale Ons betere ik. Ook is hij lid van de commissie die zich bezighoudt met Amerikaanse woordenboeken. Op bol.com vind je alle boeken van Steven Pinker, waaronder het nieuwste boek van Steven Pinker.

(Foto: Wikipedia. Beschikbaar onder de licentie Creative Commons Naamsvermelding/Gelijk delen.)


The follow-up to Pinker's pathbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature argues that despite the rampant pessimism about the state of the world today, the facts prove that we are on a significant path upward and can continue that way, but only if we understand the ideals (and embrace the tools) that have created that progress. A necessary counter to the current gospel of doom.

Are things really going to hell in a handbasket? In this elegant and urgent assessment of the human condition in the third millennium,cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker proves that--despite the robust market for prophecies of woe--we're living longer, healthier, safer, richer, freer, happier, and more meaningful lives worldwide. The problems we face are formidable, but we have the tools to solve them. Our best days are, indeed, still ahead of us.

Progress is not inevitable, or the result of some mysterious force, he argues; it is the fruit of a system of beliefs and values that many of us embrace without even realizing it. These are the ideals of the Enlightenment: the conviction that we can use reason and science to enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve dream, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. Pinker shows in more than sixty jaw-dropping graphs that humanity is far better off than it was decades and centuries ago. But because of our cognitive and moral biases, we overlook this progress and prefer to sermonize about decline and despair

This myopia is dangerous, Pinker argues. It makes us sink into a paralyzing cynicism, demonize enemies instead of solve problems, and embrace demagogues and political and religious radicalism. But science and reason have given us a deep understanding of life and the cosmos, the conquest of pestilence and famine, and the precious gift of liberal democracy. The tools for to help us continue to survive and thrive are in our hands.


Compelling ... At a moment when liberal Enlightenment values are under attack, from the right and the left, this is a very important contribution ... An impressive and useful accomplishment * Atlantic * Things are not as bad as your Facebook news feed makes them seem ... a cheerful, contrarian tract for dark times -- Niall Ferguson * Boston Globe * Guys, it's really not that bad. In fact, it's the best it's ever been ... Pinker urges people to look at the bigger picture and dive into the data * New York Post * Enlightenment Now seeks to undo, with facts and figures, the pessimism that has paralysed the world ... We must read this book and absorb its message * El Pais (Colombia) * Useful and exciting ... Pinker doesn't declaim, he demonstrates - with dozens of graphs and charts - that humankind has spent two centuries winning the battle against entropy in all fields: from health to peace, the environment to democracy, wealth to happiness, to equality between men and women. He asks us crucial questions ... Steven Pinker is right * El Mundo (Spain) * Steven Pinker has a cure for your despair ... life is better than it has ever been. Pinker's case is compelling * Prospect * After devouring all 453 pages and 75 graphs of psychologist Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now, I admit defeat. The defeat of defeatism. This man has done the math. Since the 18th century things have been getting better in pretty much every dimension of human wellbeing. * Big Think * A substantial and wide-ranging book on the state of our world today ... In forensic detail, Pinker enumerates the myriad ways in which life is getting better ... The book is packed with statistics vaunting the gifts of progress * Irish Times * The world is better than ever before. And Steven Pinker can prove it. * Vox * An engaging, compelling set of reasons to be cheerful ... it is a welcome antidote * Nature * Pinker is right ... Much good news today tends to be underreported, even unreported. Human beings today lead longer, safer, healthier, wealthier and indeed happier lives than at any point in recorded history ... Pinker surveys the stupendous advancements that the human race has made in modern times according to a dizzying range of metrics * Nation * Modern life has gotten much better despite ever-present complaints. Technology has reduced the need for physical labor. Mortality rates are down. IQ scores are on the rise. Wars are less frequent and less deadly ... the Enlightenment's championing of reason, science, humanism and moral progress is a model for our own times * Washington Post * An erudite defence * Salon * Pinker is a deep and important critic of the visceral hostility to nature and science now so sadly prevalent on the left and right, a defender of reason and the Enlightenment ... Pinker is right -- Andrew Sullivan * New York Magazine * Extremely hopeful... Steven Pinker argues that people are happier, healthier, wealthier, and safer than they've ever been ... we're living in the best moments humans have experienced yet * Business Insider * Pinker offers numbers to show that the world has, on the whole, become safer, healthier and wealthier. These benefits are more pronounced in the West, but even in developing countries conditions have improved ... His optimism is resilient * The New York Times * Vindication has arrived in the form of Steven Pinker's latest book. ENLIGHTENMENT NOW: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress is remarkable, heart-warming, and long overdue. * Christian Science Monitor * A forceful defense of the democratic, humanist institutions that [Pinker] says brought about these changes, and a declaration that reason, science and humanism can solve the problems to come. * Atlanta Journal-Constitution * [ENLIGHTENMENT NOW] proves that much of the handwringing and doom-saying promulgated in the popular press, academia, and politics can't be justified on the facts. . . it's both a manifesto of ideas that [Bill] Gates himself has espoused through the years, as well as a paean to individuals, like Gates, who have committed their time and money to changing the world for the better. * Inc. * [Steven Pinker has] become a deep and important critic of the visceral hostility to nature and science now so sadly prevalent on the left and right, a defender of reason and the Enlightenment against the 'social justice' movements on campus, and his new book is a near-relentless defense of modernity. * New York Magazine * Shock therapy for pessimists. * Seattle Times * Pinker has a coherent theory of progress. * Washington Post * It's easy to feel dour about the future of mankind. But constant, widespread doomsday prophecies are not going to help - it's only going to make matters worse. If every doomsday scenario feels possible, then people are actually disincentivized to take action, says Steven Pinker ... Things like nuclear war and climate change can, with careful and diligent work, be mitigated * CNBC * An excellent book, lucidly written, timely, rich in data and eloquent in its championing of a rational humanism that is - it turns out - really quite cool. * New York Times Book Review * In his new book, Enlightenment Now, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker makes a more convincing case for the sciences benefiting the arts * New Scientist * Pinker is ahead of his critics... [he] is in no way complacent. To accuse him of smugly sipping cocktails at the End of History cafe is simply to ignore his repeated calls to work for the better future that is there for the taking, but also for the losing -- Julian Baggini * Literary Review * A highly topical and much-needed book * New Statesman * The most uplifting work of science I've ever read * Science * A careful and deeply researched piece of work ... Pinker is bravely prepared to be the bearer of good news * Guardian * Persuasive... Pinker's book focuses on the Enlightenment as a philosophical perspective, as a distinctive way of looking at the position of individuals within modern society. Enlightenment Now is a spirited defence of the enduring ideals of this tradition * Times Higher Education * A valuable book ... Enlightenment Now can hardly be bettered * Boston Globe * If 2017 was a rough year for you, look no further than Steven Pinker's engaging new book, Enlightenment Now, to cheer you up. Conceived before Donald Trump even announced his candidacy, it could not have been better timed to clarify - and, for some, refute - the habits of mind that brought Trump and the GOP to power ... Pinker's gift is to challenge us not only to update the Enlightenment, but to think beyond it * Washington Post * Pinker is a paragon of exactly the kind of intellectual honesty and courage we need -- David Brooks * The New York Times * Words can hardly do justice to the superlative range and liveliness of Pinker's investigations * Independent * A salutary reminder of the material progress modern science and commerce have delivered * The New York Times * In Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker extols the amazing achievements of modernity, and demonstrates that humankind has never been so peaceful, healthy and prosperous. There is of course much to argue about, but that's what makes this book so interesting. -- Yuval Noah Harari Today we are living healthier, wealthier lives - and it's thanks to the values of the Enlightenment ... a passionate book in praise of Enlightenment values -- David Aaronovitch * The Times * Brimming with surprising data and entertaining anecdotes ... a genuinely enlightening book -- Jan-Werner Muller * Financial Times * A goldmine of startling graphs and killer facts about the way we live now. Everyone should read this book and, just for once, be enthralled by what humankind has achieved -- Iain Macwhirter * Herald * A new, optimistic view of the world ... Things are not as bad as your Facebook news feed makes them seem ... a cheerful, contrarian tract for dark times -- Niall Ferguson * Sunday Times * A characteristically fluent, decisive and data-rich demonstration of why, given the chance to live at any point in human history, only a stone-cold idiot would choose any time other than the present -- Sam Leith * Spectator * Awesome. The confidence with which Pinker tears through the issues that cause such deep anxiety today is compelling -- William Davies * Guardian * Pinker is right. Not just a bit right, but completely, utterly, incontrovertibly right ... for most people, life is better, even if they don't realise it -- Dominic Sandbrook * Daily Mail * This is the biggest story of our time. It's about the many ways in which the world is improving, and why we don't believe it -- Fraser Nelson * Spectator * Exhilarating, magnificent, uplifting * Economist * My new favourite book of all time -- Bill Gates

van de 5
2 reviews
  • Overzichtelijk
  • Heldere boodschap
  • Broodnodig
    • Overzichtelijk
    • Heldere boodschap

    Er is iets wonderlijks aan de hand. Veel mensen zijn uitgesproken negatief over de toestand van de wereld. Als je borreltafelfilosofen, columnisten en politici moet geloven zijn we met zijn allen hard de verkeerde kant op aan het gaan. Het is nog een kwestie van tijd voordat de wal het schip keert. Dit is wonderlijk, aangezien de meetbare feiten aangeven dat het nog nooit zo goed met de wereld is gegaan. Mensen leven langer dan ooit, zijn gezonder, welvarender en gelukkiger dan ooit en er zijn nog nooit zo weinig gewapende conflicten geweest. En dit is maar een willekeurige greep.

    In Enlightenment Now analyseert Steven Pinker deze paradox en probeert al doende onze verwachtingen te herijken. Hiervoor verkent hij systematisch de langetermijntendensen op allerlei gebieden: gezondheid, milieu, vrede, democratie, mensenrechten, educatie, etc. en toont aan dat op de meeste van deze terreinen de laatste 100 jaar spectaculaire vooruitgang geboekt is.

    Zijn boodschap zal niet iedereen bevallen. Pessimisme is aantrekkelijk, al is het maar omdat het een zekere wereldwijsheid suggereert. Dit boek is Pinker dan ook op verwijten van naief optimisme en culturele lichtzinnigheid komen te staan (ondanks de noodklok die erin geluid wordt over klimaatverandering). De feiten liegen echter niet en alleen al de barrage aan statistieken moet zelfs de meest doorgewinterde zwartkijker doen beseffen dat het niet allemaal kommer en kwel is. En dat alleen al maakt dit boek tot een broodnodige boodschap.

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    Positieve punten van dit artikel zijn: praktisch toepasbaar en heldere boodschap.

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januari 2018
23,5 x 15,5 x 3,8 cm
Aantal pagina's
528 pagina's
Met illustraties


Steven Pinker



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The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

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