Get Shorty: Steven Pinker on the Enlightenment

Abstract: Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now makes a powerful argument that by every measure, the conditions of human life have been improving steadily for the past 200 years. This improvement can be attributed not just to the spread of the principles of enlightenment announced in the eighteenth century but also to the evolved properties of the human mind, which have been liberated by modernity. Pinker writes in support of this development and in opposition to the ideological and academic resistances to it. His book has itself generated resistance among those he criticizes, and while many of these criticisms are unwarranted, Pinker's book raises serious questions that it does not fully address. Read Full Article on JSTOR →