Cognitive Scientist Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Rationality in His New Book
It seems like rationality today is in short supply. On one end of the spectrum, scientists are achieving medical break-throughs—like developing the COVID vaccine—in record time. Yet on the other end, lies misinformation, fake news, and conspiracy theories bordering on hysteria. How can this be? And what can we do about it? Steven Pinker explores in his new book Rationality.
Human beings are not irrational. After all, we discovered the laws of nature, lengthened and enriched our lives, and set out the benchmarks for rationality itself, explains Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now (one of Bill Gates’ favorite books). Unfortunately, it also happens that rational pursuits of self-interest, sectarian solidarity, and uplifting mythology, can add up to crippling irrationality in a society—if they are not balanced by norms designed to promote objectivity and truth.
Here, Pinker helps us take advantage of the powerful tools of reason at our disposal: logic, critical thinking, probability, and correlation and causation—showing us how to use them to update our beliefs and make better choices, both personally and societally.
Brimming with Pinker’s customary insight and humor, Rationality will enlighten, inspire, and empower. Available everywhere you buy books September 28th.