I was especially struck by the pages where he describes The Enlightenment, and I have taken the liberty of scanning these pages into my personal blog. If anyone connected with the book objects, my posting will be removed, so if a brief exposition of what The Enlightenment was and how the ideas behind it all fitted together appeals, go there, soon, and read on.
Two questions naturally arise from Pinker’s summary. First, is it an accurate description? Or does Pinker impose a coherence upon Enlightenment thinking that it never quite possessed for real? (My guesses: yes, and no.) Second, if I am right that Pinker does describe the unified scientific and moral agenda of The Enlightenment accurately, then how true are these ideas? Were errors made, as well as truths declared? Did these errors do harm? (Did any of the truths do harm?)
I could go on, but prefer not to. Suffice it to say here that it’s there if you want it, for the time being anyway.