We Should Be Rational Optimists with Steven Pinker - Ep 18
Our guest this week is Steven Pinker. Steven is a cognitive psychologist, psycholinguist, popular science author, and public intellectual. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, Enlightenment Now, and most recently, Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters.
In this episode we speak with Steven about his books, the public’s responses to them, and whether those books have had a positive effect. We talk about the euphemism treadmill and whether we can ever escape it, the misunderstandings of terms like optimism and idealism, the tensions between human nature and the potential for progress, social media and the ways we can improve it, and how we can all be more rational.
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