The Next Big Idea
The Next Big Idea
Sep 30, 2021
RATIONALITY: Steven Pinker’s Love Song to Critical Thinking
Play • 1 hr 2 min

In his new book, “Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters,” Steven Pinker writes: “When humans set themselves the goal of improving the welfare of their fellows … and they apply their ingenuity in institutions that pool it with others’, they occasionally succeed. When they retain the successes and take note of the failures, the benefits can accumulate.” In this episode, Pinker argues that those benefits would accumulate even faster if we all learned a bit of logic, got better at sniffing out fallacies, embraced institutions that safeguard empirical truths, and entertained the idea that halting, imperfect progress may be better than no progress at all.

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