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Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: Manipulating Data for Effect

A critical review of his book, Enlightenment Now:

"[Unlike Pinker] the great writers of the Enlightenment, contrary to the way they are often caricatured, were mostly skeptics at heart. They had a taste for irony, an appreciation of paradox, and took delight in wit. They appreciated complexity, rarely shied away from difficulty, and generally had a deep respect for the learning of those who had preceded them.  .  .  ."

"It is not entirely clear what Pinker means by 'the Enlightenment.' At one point he calls it 'a cornucopia of ideas, some of them contradictory,' but at another a coherent 'project.' .  .  .  . "

"But he wraps his arguments up in such a thick layer of exaggeration and misinterpretation that the book does more harm than good. It makes use of selective data, dubious history, and, when all else fails, a contempt for 'intellectuals' .  .  .  ."

"Like a TED Talk, Enlightenment Now is easy to summarize." More

This post first appeared on Mind Shadows, please read the originial post: here

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Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: Manipulating Data for Effect


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