If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred and irrationality. Yet, as Steven Pinker shows, if you follow the trend lines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer and more prosperous – not just in the West, but worldwide. Such progress is no accident: it's the gift of a coherent 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. But the 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 other problems in the past. This is the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st Century.
Steven Pinker is one of the world's leading authorities on language and the mind. His popular and highly praised books include The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct. The recipient of several major awards for his teaching, books, and scientific research, Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He also writes frequently for The New York Times, the Guardian and other publications. He has been named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association, one of Prospect Magazine's ‘World's Top 100 Public Intellectuals', counted among Foreign Policy's '100 Global Thinkers', and one of Time Magazine's ‘100 Most Influential People in the World Today’.
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