A Review of Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker. Viking, 432 pages (September 28, 2021). “Academic Writes Engaging Book for the Masses.” Now there’s a shocking headline. Totally man bites dog. Oh, oh, scratch that. It’s not man bites dog
Over the past 18 months, a number of significant events have occurred that were interpreted through two entirely different worldviews: COVID–19 lockdowns; rise of the BLM movement; the riots and violence in major cities; the US election process and its aftermath; and vaccine safety. Many influential commentators believe that
As we sit here over six months after the initial lockdown provoked by COVID-19, the United States has moved out of a brief period of national unity into distressingly predictable and bitter partisan division. The return to this state of affairs has been fuelled by a cognitive trait that divides
Near the end of a much-discussed podcast in May entitled Identity & Honesty, Sam Harris and Ezra Klein have the following telling exchange: Ezra Klein: You have that bewildering experience because you donʼt realize when you keep saying that everybody else is thinking tribally, but youʼre not, that that is
In September 2016, in collaboration with my colleagues Richard West and Maggie Toplak, I published a book titled The Rationality Quotient. In it, we described our attempt to create the first comprehensive test of rational thinking. The book is very much an academic volume, full of statistics and technical details.