«ENLIGHTENMENT NOW: THE CASE FOR REASON, SCIENCE, HUMANISM, AND PROGRESS».
100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE.
Steven Pinker asks the big questions about human progress—and sets out, in public, to answer them. In 2018’s Enlightenment Now, Pinker argues that, despite the headlines, the world is getting better, not worse. (Bill Gates calls it “my new favorite book of all time.”) In optimistic keynotes, full of sharp wit, common sense, and dazzling argumentation, Pinker makes the case for reason, science, and humanism. These Enlightenment ideals, in the face of tribalism, authoritarianism, and other modern dangers to democracy, are worth celebrating—and protecting.
A provocative speaker, much in demand, Steven Pinker is a cognitive scientist who has been named by
. His keynotes have helped millions demystify the science behind human language, thought, and action. Pinker is a Harvard professor, a TED speaker, and a bestselling author, twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. TIME as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World
Highly respected in the scientific community, his work and opinions are extensively covered in the mainstream media, and have won a wide general audience.
In his new talks—based on
«Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress»—Pinker argues that, despite fear-mongering and political upheaval, the world is getting better: peace, prosperity, knowledge and happiness are on the rise. The New York Times included the book in its year-end list of 100 Notable Books, and NPR and Esquire both named it as one of the best books of 2018.
Enlightenment Now is the follow-up to The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Had Declined, which was a #1 Amazon bestseller. Keynotes based on that book inspired audiences worldwide with its core message that, if you look at the facts, we are living in the most peaceful human era ever. The talks pointed the way to a better future for humankind.
A native of Montreal, Steven Pinker is Johnstone Professor of Psychology at
Harvard University. Previously, he 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. He has won a number of teaching prizes, and his research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has received numerous awards, including the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences.
Progress In a Time of Pandemic.
There’s no question that 2020 has set humanity back: a global pandemic, reminders of racial injustice, threats to democracy, and an economic recession to rival that of the 1930’s. Yet, despite the setbacks the year has brought, we must not overlook the astonishing progress that humanity his made in health, wealth, happiness, peace, freedom, tolerance, and safety, argues Harvard psychologist and New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker. “Progress is invisible to most people because they don’t get their understanding of the world from numbers; they get it from headlines. Journalism by its very nature conceals progress, because it presents sudden events rather than gradual trends.” In other words, our newsfeed is not a representative picture of the world as a whole. In this illuminating keynote, Pinker makes the case for reason, science, and humanism—while placing pandemics in the bigger picture of human history and biology—to shift our perspectives and better understand the world in 2020 and beyond.
Enlightenment Now Invoking the Age of Reason in the Boardroom.
What does a book about 19th century philosophy have to do with 21st century corporate culture? Plenty! In this keynote—drawn from the book Bill Gates called the best he’d ever read—the lessons are clear. The values of The Enlightenment transformed an entire planet: creating wealth, inspiring creativity, advancing science, empowering individuals, and introducing Democracy to America, France, and the globe at large. If these values can transform the world, they can transform an organization. A perfect discussion point for today—Steven Pinker will lead your audience through an exploration of who we are and where we are going, minus the baggage of today’s headlines.
Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.
If you read the news today, you might come to the conclusion that the human race is doomed, that democracy is on the decline, that authoritarianism and tribalism are on the rise. But is the world really falling apart? In this bold keynote, Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data. Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. But in 2018, have we become complacent? Have we taken the Enlightenment’s breakthroughs and ideals for granted? The Enlightenment stands against many of the darker currents in the air, which demagogues are all too willing to exploit, resulting in attacks on liberal democracy and global cooperation. In a timely and hopeful keynote, Steven Pinker, one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals, makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
A History of Violence.
Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new talk, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows audiences how all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?
This groundbreaking talk continues Pinker’s exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives—the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away—and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind’s inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative talk is sure to be hotly debated, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.
The Sense of Style The Thinking Persons’ Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.
Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Do people write badly on purpose, to bamboozle their readers with highfalutin gobbledygook? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Should we bring back the lost art of diagramming sentences? Have dictionaries abandoned their responsibility to safeguard correct usage? Do the kids today even care about good writing? Why should any of us care?
In this talk, Steven Pinker argues that we need to rethink usage advice for the 21st century. Rather than moaning about the decline of the language, carping over pet peeves, or recycling spurious edicts from the rulebooks of a century ago, we can apply insights from the sciences of language and mind to the challenge of crafting clear, coherent, and stylish prose.
Don’t blame the Internet, or the kids today; good writing has always been hard. It begins with savoring the good prose of others. It requires an act of imagination: maintaining the illusion that one is directing a reader’s gaze to something in the world. A writer must overcome the Curse of Knowledge—the difficulty we all have in imagining what it’s like not to know something we know. Skillful writers must be sensitive to the ways in which syntax converts a tangled web of ideas into a linear string of words. They must weave their prose into a coherent whole, with one sentence flowing into the next. And they must negotiate the rules of correct usage, distinguishing the rules that enhance clarity and grace from the myths and superstitions.
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.
"My new favorite book of all time." —Bill Gates
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In 75 jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.
Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature—tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking—which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.
With intellectual depth and literary flair, Pinker makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
The Blank Slate (2002/2016).
A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature.
One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.
"Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read...
also highly persuasive." —Michael Lemonick, Time
The Better Angels of our Nature.
"A brilliant, mind-altering book....Everyone should read this astonishing book."—The Guardian
“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this—the most inspiring book I've ever read." —Bill Gates (May, 2017)
A provocative history of violence—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Stuff of Thought and The Blank Slate
Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Timesbestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world.
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