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Steven Pinker Continues to See the Glass Half Full

  • Book Review

Enlightenment Now

  • The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

By Steven Pinker

Optimism is not generally thought cool, and it is often thought foolish.

  • Sarah Bakewell
  • The New York Times

The optimistic philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote in 1828, “I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.”

Bele 6fIn the previous century, Voltaire’s “Candide” had attacked what its author called “optimism”: the Leibnizian idea that all must be for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

After suffering through…

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