The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker asks audacious questions about human nature—then boldly sets out to answer them. A two-time Pulitzer finalist, named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, he’s a brilliant speaker, is enormously popular in the media, and highly respected in scientific circles. And for good reason. His upcoming book Enlightement Now makes a stirring case for reason, science, progress, and humanism in an age of uncertainty and unrest.
“The most inspiring book I’ve ever read.”— Bill Gates on The Better Angels of Our Nature
Known for his verve, his wit, and his profound ideas—many of them explained by referencing pop culture—Steven Pinker helps non-specialists understand the science behind human thought and action. One of the world’s leading cognitive scientists, Pinker translates his groundbreaking research into articles (he’s written for The New York Times and Nature) and books that are accessible to the general reader. Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (February 2018) offers a rare, big-picture look at the course of human history. With persuasive evidence, Pinker boldly states that, despite fearmongering, confusion, and political upheaval, things are indeed getting better around the globe, and for us all—and we owe our state of peace, health, and happiness to the steady principles of the Enlightenment.
His book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined first argued that today may be the world’s most peaceful era, ever. Published in 2011, it rocketed to the #1 spot on Amazon in the spring after Bill Gates called it “the most inspiring book I’ve ever read.” Gates goes on to describe it as “a profound statement about human nature and the possibility for a better future. This book may have shaped my outlook more than any other.” Better Angels also garnered a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year award and was chosen for Mark Zuckerberg’s book club.
Pinker’s other books include The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (about the power of communication, language, and good writing); The Blank Slate and How The Mind Works, both bestsellers, and both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize; and Pinker’s acclaimed “language” series includes The Language Instinct, Words and Rules, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, as well as The Sense of Style.
“The Better Angels of Our Nature is a supremely important book.”— The New York Times
A native of Montreal, Pinker is Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard and has also taught at Stanford and at MIT. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has won a number of teaching prizes, and was named among Newsweek’s “100 Americans for the Next Century.” His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has received numerous awards, including the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences.