Magazine November 15, 2021, Issue

Rationality, If You Can Keep It

(Clerkenwell/Getty Images)
Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters, by Steven Pinker (Viking, 432 pp., $32)

Rationality is a precious birth­right that we too often take for granted if not mock or reject — despite our supposed sophistication.

Ours is the first age in which humanity’s collective knowledge waits quite literally at our fingertips — yet most of us continue to embrace easily refutable false­hoods with abandon. Ours is a time when higher education is available to almost anyone who seeks it — yet we wear our diplomas alongside garish contempt for the very foundations of learning: intellectual openness, dialogue, and the possibility that we might be wrong. Ours is a world made immeasurably better by the

To Read the Full Story

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content on the site including the digital magazine and archives, no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.

If you enjoyed this article and want to see more premium content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.

 

Become a Member
Gary GeipelMr. Geipel is a senior associate of the National Institute for Public Policy, where he is conducting a study on the implications of post-truth attitudes and behavior for national security.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Athwart

Supervictim

It’s all familiar and boring, the recasting of an American archetype into a new mold to instruct, because they can’t come up with archetypes of their own.

Recommended

The Latest