Search results: pinker

From Edge: ‘Dennett On Wieseltier V. Pinker In The New Republic’

Full piece here. There’s a bit of an intellectual turf war going on in the Western world.  I suppose it’s been going on for a while.  Here are some recent public skirmishes: -Steven Pinker, Harvard experimental psychologist and cognitive scientist wrote a piece in the New Republic, entitled: ‘Science Is Not Your Enemy‘ -Leon Wieseltier, […]

Steven Pinker At The New Republic: ‘Science Is Not Your Enemy’

Full piece here. Pinker boils his argument down to two ideals: ‘The first is that the world is intelligible. The phenomena we experience may be explained by principles that are more general than the phenomena themselves.’ and: ‘The commitment to intelligibility is not a matter of brute faith, but gradually validates itself as more and […]

Timothy Snyder Responds To Steven Pinker’s New Book At Foreign Policy: ‘War No More: Why The World Has Become More Peaceful’

Full essay here. ‘The state appears in Pinker’s history only when it confines itself to the limited role that he believes is proper, and enlightenment figures as the rebellion of intelligent individuals against the state’s attempt to exceed its assigned role.’ Well, many Enlightenment figures went about creating the intellectual foundations of the modern State, […]

From Reason.TV Via YouTube: ‘Steven Pinker on The Decline of Violence & “The Better Angels of Our Nature”‘

Reason post here, which has a link to challenge Pinker’s claim that violence actually declining (any other thoughts welcome). Related On This Site:   What about a World Leviathan…instead of the humanist/liberal wishes for global governance no matter how ineffective?: At Bloggingheads Steven Pinker Discusses War And Thomas Hobbes… Simon Blackburn Reviews Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate: […]

At Bloggingheads Steven Pinker Discusses War And Thomas Hobbes

Relevant diavlog here. In the discussion, Pinker borrows from Thomas Hobbes’ “Leviathan,”  to put forth the argument that one reason for what Pinker claims is an overall decline in violence (at least recently, since 1945) is the development of the modern State.  It has the lion’s share of power, and puts its own citizens at […]

Simon Blackburn Reviews Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial Of Human Nature” Via the University Of Cambridge Philosophy Department

Full review here. The 1st and last paragraphs of Blackburn’s review: ‘When the hoary old question of nature versus nurture comes around, sides form quickly. And as Leavis once remarked, whenever this is so, we can suspect that the differences have little to do with thinking. Still, the question certainly obsesses thinkers, and crops up in various […]

Steven Pinker From The New Republic: The Stupidity Of Dignity

Full essay here. Pinker attacks “dignity” arguments put foward by the President’s Council On Bio-Ethics in Human Dignity And Bioethics. He’s not impressed with the set of largely conservative ideas he finds there, a few of which are rooted in Catholic doctrine.  Who’s putting them foward? “…a group of intellectual activists, many of whom had jumped from […]

Steven Pinker at Google

Here is a link to Stephen Pinker’s presentation at Google. Here is a post I put up recently about Bob Wright’s idealism during one of his diavlogs. It seems that Pinker is applying some of the ideas of physics or spatio-temporal thought to the rules of grammar and language.  It would be an excellent lesson […]

Roger Scruton At The New Atlantis: ‘Scientism In The Arts & Humanities’

Full piece here (link may not last). Scruton: ‘It is true that the theory of the meme does not deny the role of culture, nor does it undermine the nineteenth-century view that culture properly understood is as much an activity of the rational mind as is science. But the concept of the meme belongs with […]

Kenan Malik At The New Humanist: ‘People Power’

Full piece here. Interesting read: ‘The 20th century witnessed also a revolution in the way that artists were able to conceive of the human. The emergence of the modernist sensibility, the breakdown of conventional forms of representation, of the old fixed, linear, views of the world, and the growth of a much more fractured, dissonant, […]


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