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Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters Hardcover – September 28, 2021 by Steven Pinker

Hardcover

{432 pages}

PUB : September 28, 2021

$32.00 $22.96

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Description

Author: Pinker Steven

Color: Black

Package Dimensions: 28x229x671

Number Of Pages: 432

Release Date: 28-09-2021

Details: Product Description

“In our uncertain age, which can so often feel so dark and disturbing, Steven Pinker has distinguished himself as a voice of positivity.” – New York TimesCan reading a book make you more rational? Can it help us understand why there is so much irrationality in the world? Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now (Bill Gates’s “new favorite book of all time”) answers all the questions here
Today humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding–and also appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that developed vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, medical quackery, and conspiracy theorizing?

Pinker rejects the cynical cliché that humans are simply irrational–cavemen out of time saddled with biases, fallacies, and illusions. After all, we discovered the laws of nature, lengthened and enriched our lives, and set out the benchmarks for rationality itself.  We actually think in ways that are sensible in the low-tech contexts in which we spend most of our lives, but fail to take advantage of the powerful tools of reasoning we’ve discovered over the millennia: logic, critical thinking, probability, correlation and causation, and optimal ways to update beliefs and commit to choices individually and with others. These tools are not a standard part of our education, and have never been presented clearly and entertainingly in a single book–until now.

Rationality also explores its opposite: how the rational pursuit of self-interest, sectarian solidarity, and uplifting mythology can add up to crippling irrationality in a society. Collective rationality depends on norms that are explicitly designed to promote objectivity and truth.

Rationality matters. It leads to better choices in our lives and in the public sphere, and is the ultimate driver of social justice and moral progress. Brimming with Pinker’s customary insight and humor,
Rationality will enlighten, inspire, and empower.

Review

“An impassioned and zippy introduction to the tools of rational thought… Punchy, funny and invigorating.”
—The Times (London)

“If you’ve ever considered taking drugs to make yourself smarter, read
Rationality instead.”
—Jonathan Haidt, New York Times bestselling co-author of THE CODDLING OF THE AMERICAN MIND

“Pinker manages to be scrupulously rigorous yet steadily accessible and entertaining whether probing the rationality of Andrew Yang’s presidential platform, Dilbert cartoons, or Yiddish proverbs. The result is both a celebration of humans’ ability to make things better with careful thinking and a penetrating rebuke to muddleheadedness”
—Publishers Weekly (starred)

“A reader-friendly primer in better thinking through the cultivation of that rarest of rarities: a sound argument.”
—Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of many awards for his research, teaching, and books, he has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and named one of
Time‘s 100 Most Influential People and one of
Foreign Policy‘s 100 Leading Global Thinkers. His books include
The Blank Slate, The Stuff of Thought,
The Better Angels of Our Nature,
The Sense of Style, and
Enlightenment Now.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1

How Rational an Animal?

Man is a rational animal. So at least we have been told. Throughout a long life I have searched diligently for evidence in favor of this statement. So far, I have not had the good fortune to come across it.

-Bertrand Russell

He that can carp in the most eloquent or acute manner at the weakness of the human mind is held by his fellows as almost divine.

-Baruch Spinoza

Homo sapiens means wise hominin, and in many ways we have earned the specific epithet of our Linnaean binomial. Our species has dated the origin of the universe, plumbed the nature of matter and energy, decoded the secre

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