Do Humankind's Best Days Lie Ahead?: The Munk Debates by Steven Pinker

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Do Humankind's Best Days Lie Ahead?: The Munk Debates Read Online Free - Progress. It is one of the animating concepts of the modern era. From the Enlightenment onwards, the West has had an enduring belief that through the evolution of institutions, innovations, and ideas, the human condition is improving. This process is supposedly accelerating as new technologies, individual freedoms, and the spread of global norms empower individuals and societies around the world. But is progress inevitable? Its critics argue that human civilization has become different, not better, over the last two and a half centuries. What is seen as a breakthrough or innovation in one period becomes a setback or limitation in another. In short, progress is an ideology not a fact; a way of thinking about the world as opposed to a description of reality.

In the seventeenth semi-annual Munk Debates, which was held in Toronto on November 6, 2015, pioneering cognitive scientist Steven Pinker and best-selling author Matt Ridley squared off against noted philosopher Alain de Botton and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell to debate whether humankind’s best days lie ahead.

Title : Do Humankind's Best Days Lie Ahead?: The Munk Debates
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ISBN : 1487001681
Edition Language : English
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Number of Pages : 0 pages


Danielle rated it ★★☆☆☆

November 08, 2016

This book was underwhelming in a major way. First, I don't think the question "Do humankind's best days lie ahead?" was a fair way to parse the question at hand. Since there are so many measurable variables that suggest that human life is improving, it's hard to argue against this proposition. I...

Daniel rated it ★★★☆☆

February 07, 2017

The book transcribes a debate between two teams of two men each, on the proposition: "Do Humankind's Best Days Lie Ahead?". The question is not well-posed - the answer could literally be "Yes" despite an apocalyptic scenario. Suppose the coming year is the best in humankind's history, and then, s...

John rated it ★★★☆☆

March 22, 2017

This short book transcribes a debate on the question 'Do Humankind's Best Days Lie Ahead?' Arguing for the proposition are Steven Pinker and Matt Ridley, against are Alain de Botton and Malcolm Gladwell. Pinker and Ridley have much the better of the debate. They avoid Whiggish determinism for the...

Audrey rated it ★★☆☆☆

December 06, 2017

Quick read that gave me a few chuckles but to be honest I expected more from these great thinkers. The debate would veer off topic at times or just become baseless. Plus, where was the female perspective? I enjoyed Gladwell's argument the best, that for every problem we solve, new problems are ge...

asih rated it ★★☆☆☆

January 03, 2017

It's surprising how intellectuals at the level of these 4 gentlemen debate so childlike when it comes to this issue of human progress.

Nickky rated it ★★★★★

December 31, 2017

A new year always makes us more hopeful of the coming unknown days. In this short book (you can read it in one sitting), the debating teams of scientists and philosophers present us with polarizing outlooks: the former think we have better tomorrow thanks to the technologies that have improved ou...

Mugren rated it ★☆☆☆☆

September 03, 2017

Underwhelming. I began the debate con and ended it con. However, none of the arguments were convincing.

Gokhan rated it ★★★☆☆

July 29, 2017

Malcolm ve alain de botton sevdiğim yazarlar mı haklı yoksa karşı cephe mi ? Tartışma öncesinin kitap sonuna konulmasına anlam veremedim...

Eleanor rated it ★★★☆☆

February 07, 2017

Matt Ridley and Steven Pinker versus Alain de Botton and Malcolm Gladwell on the subject of human progress. I liked this book; it was short & sweet, entertaining, and raised a few good points. I would recommend it, without stating with any confidence that the reader will find him/herself sway...

Lydia rated it ★★★★☆

December 25, 2016

This is a transcript of a debate between 4 important thinkers and scientists of our day. The debate itself is only half the book and then there are individual interviews with each of the speakers about their stance more specifically. The book itself is a quick read and very enjoyable. I was famil...

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