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Learn the key ideas of the book by Steven Pinker

Enlightenment Now

Why apply reason to achieve greater human welfare?

Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker shows us how the Enlightenment  is still  a relevant topic, and performs an analysis of the human condition —who we are, where we come from, what our challenges are and how we can face them— using modern science and data. Pinker shows us the principles of the Enlightenment and how they can improve the human condition. A longer life with less suffering, the possibility of learning more and increasing our intelligence, or enjoying more pleasures and having richer experiences.

Enlightenment Now
Read in 15 min.
Listen in 19 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Inform those who believe in the extreme defense of Enlightenment values against worrying obscurantist tendencies.
  • Read up on an in-depth analysis - based on data, facts, statistics, numbers, metrics - that demonstrates that progress is not an idea, but a measurable reality.
  • Take a deep, full breath of optimism as you walk the heroic path of progress in human history.

The author of the book:

Steven Pinker is a professor of psychology at Harvard University. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes and many other awards for his research, teaching and books. Time considers him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World Today. He is one of the world's most authoritative thinkers and writers on the human condition.

IDEA CHIAVE 1/14

The ideals of the Enlightenment in the 21st century

The illustrated principle by which we can apply reason to improve human welfare may seem obvious and old-fashioned, but it is not. Especially today, the ideals of reason, science, humanism, and progress need to be defended unconditionally. We take their gifts for granted, forgetting that these are not cosmic birthrights, but human achievements. In some less fortunate parts of the world, war, scarcity, disease and ignorance are a natural part of existence. We know that it is possible to return to those primitive conditions. Forgetting the importance of human progress can generate a corrosive fatalism, capable of destroying the precious institutions that guarantee this progress inspired by the Enlightenment, such as liberal democracies and organizations of international cooperation.

The ideals of the Enlightenment are products of reason, but they always struggle against other aspects of human nature: loyalty to the tribe, deference to authority, magical thinking.

This book attempts to reaffirm the ideals of the Enlightenment with the language and concepts of the 21st century, to provide a framework for understanding the human condition —who we are, where we come from, what our challenges are, and how we can face them— based on modern science and data.

  

The key ideas of "Enlightenment Now"

01.
The ideals of the Enlightenment in the 21st century
02.
The four fundamental ideas of the Enlightenment: reason, science, humanism, progress
03.
How life expectancy has changed
04.
Advances in medicine and health
05.
Famines and malnutrition: what has changed?
06.
Wealth in the world
07.
What are the consequences of increasing inequality?
08.
An enlightened environmentalism to save the planet
09.
Peace for a better world
10.
The growth of safety
11.
Every generation focuses more on equal rights
12.
What does the future hold?
13.
Quotes
14.
Take-home message
 
 
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