Do Humankind S Best Days Lie Ahead

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: House of Anansi
ISBN: 148700169X
File Size: 76,32 MB
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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 bestselling author Matt Ridley squared off against noted philosopher Alain de Botton and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell to debate whether humankind’s best days lie ahead.

Do Humankind S Best Days Lie Ahead

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1786070774
File Size: 59,54 MB
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Four of the world’s most renowned thinkers take on one of the biggest debates of the modern era. “It’s just a brute fact that we don't throw virgins into volcanoes any more. We don't execute people for shoplifting a cabbage. And we used to.” - Steven Pinker “The idea that because things have gotten better in the past they will continue to do so in the future is a fallacy I would have thought confined to the lower reaches of Wall Street.” - Malcolm Gladwell

Do Humankind S Best Days Lie Ahead

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1786070766
File Size: 54,79 MB
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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. So is the cup half full or half empty? As part of the Munk Debates series, held in Toronto biannually, pioneering cognitive scientist Steven Pinker and bestselling author Matt Ridley squared off against noted philosopher Alain de Botton and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, giving us an entertaining and thought-provoking face-off between four of the world's most renowned thinkers.

Hitchens Vs Blair

Author: Tony Blair
Publisher: House of Anansi
ISBN: 1770890203
File Size: 11,83 MB
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Intellectual juggernaut and staunch atheist Christopher Hitchens goes head-to-head with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, one of the Western world’s most openly devout political leaders, on the highly charged topic of religion. Few world leaders have had a greater hand in shaping current events than Blair; few writers have been more outspoken and polarizing than Hitchens. In this edition of The Munk Debates -- Canada’s premier international debate series -- Hitchens and Blair square off on the contentious questions that continue to dog the topic of religion in our globalized world: How does faith influence our actions? What is the role of people of faith in the public sphere? Is religious doctrine rigid, or should we allow for flexibility in our interpretations? This exclusive debate, which played out to a sold-out audience, is now available in print form, along with candid interviews with Hitchens and Blair. Sharp, provocative, and thoroughly engrossing, Hitchens vs. Blair is a rigorous and electrifying intellectual sparring match on the oldest question: Is religion a force for good in the world?

Can The World Tolerate An Iran With Nuclear Weapons

Author: Amos Yadlin
Publisher: House of Anansi
ISBN: 1770892370
File Size: 66,33 MB
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With tensions between Iran, Israel, and Western powers reaching new highs over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear enrichment program, the tenth edition of the Munk Debates investigates how the world should respond to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. For some, the case for a pre-emptive strike on Iran is ironclad. An Iranian bomb would flood the volatile Middle East with nuclear weapons and trap Israel in a state of perilous insecurity — along with much of the world’s oil supply. Others argue that a nuclear Iran could be the very stabilizing force that the region needs, as the threat of nuclear war makes conventional conflicts more risky. These same voices also ask: can the West and Israel afford to attack Iran when doing so could roll back the Arab Spring and re-entrench reactionary forces throughout the Middle East? In this edition of the Munk Debates — Canada’s premier international debate series — former Israel Defense Forces head of military intelligence Amos Yadlin, Pulitzer Prize–winning political commentator Charles Krauthammer, CNN host Fareed Zakaria, and Iranian-born academic Vali Nasr debate the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran. For the first time ever, this electrifying debate, which played to a sold-out audience, is now available in print, along with candid interviews with the debaters. With tempers flaring between governments, the world’s oil supply in peril, and global security at risk, the Munk Debate on Iran tries to answer: Can the world tolerate an Iran with nuclear weapons?

The Evolution Of Everything

Author: Matt Ridley
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062296027
File Size: 17,30 MB
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The New York Times bestselling author of The Rational Optimist and Genome returns with a fascinating argument for evolution that definitively dispels a dangerous, widespread myth: that we can command and control our world. Human society evolves. Change in technology, language, morality, and society is incremental, inexorable, gradual, and spontaneous. It follows a narrative, going from one stage to the next; it creeps rather than jumps; it has its own spontaneous momentum rather than being driven from outside; it has no goal or end in mind; and it largely happens by trial and error—a version of natural selection. Much of the human world is the result of human action but not of human design: it emerges from the interactions of millions, not from the plans of a few. Drawing on fascinating evidence from science, economics, history, politics, and philosophy, Matt Ridley demolishes conventional assumptions that the great events and trends of our day are dictated by those on high, whether in government, business, academia, or organized religion. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the bottom up. Just as skeins of geese form Vs in the sky without meaning to and ter-mites build mud cathedrals without architects, so brains take shape without brain-makers, learning happens without teaching, and morality changes for no reason other than the prevailing fashion. Although we neglect, defy, and ignore them, bottom-up trends shape the world. The Industrial Revolution, cell phones, the rise of Asia, and the Internet were never planned; they happened. Languages emerged and evolved by a form of natural selection, as did common law. Torture, racism, slavery, and pedophilia—all once widely regarded as acceptable—are now seen as immoral despite the decline of religion in recent decades. In this wide-ranging and erudite book, Ridley brilliantly makes the case for evolution, rather than design, as the force that has shaped much of our culture, our technology, our minds, and that even now is shaping our future. As compelling as it is controversial, as authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridley’s deeply thought-provoking book will change the way we think about the world and how it works.

The Pursuit Of Development

Author: Ian Goldin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191083852
File Size: 66,31 MB
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What do we mean by development? How can citizens, governments and the international community foster development? The process by which nations escape poverty and achieve economic and social progress has been the subject of extensive examination for hundreds of years. The notion of development itself has evolved from an original preoccupation with incomes and economic growth to a much broader understanding of development. In his new book, Ian Goldin considers the contributions that education, health, gender, equity and other dimensions of human well-being make to development, and discusses why it is also necessary to take into account the role of institutions and the rule of law as well as sustainability and environmental concerns.

The Global Refugee Crisis How Should We Respond

Author: Louise Arbour
Publisher: House of Anansi
ISBN: 1487002130
File Size: 39,70 MB
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The world is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. Over 300,000 are dead in Syria, and one and half million are either injured or disabled. Four and a half million people are trying to flee the country. And Syria is just one of a growing number of failed or failing states in the Middle East and North Africa. How should developed nations respond to human suffering on this mass scale? Do the prosperous societies of the West, including Canada and the U.S., have a moral imperative to assist as many refugees as they reasonably and responsibly can? Or, is this a time for vigilance and restraint in the face of a wave of mass migration that risks upending the tolerance and openness of the West? The eighteenth semi-annual Munk Debate, which was held on April 1, 2016, pits former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour and leading historian Simon Schama against leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage and bestselling author Mark Steyn to debate the West’s response to the global refugee crisis.

The Better Angels Of Our Nature

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780141034645
File Size: 74,15 MB
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Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful time in out species' history. In this epic exploration of the human condition, Steven Pinker shows that, despite the constant stream of news about war, crime and terrorism, violence of all kinds has been decreasing. Barbaric practices such as human sacrifice, torture-executions and chattel slavery have been abolished; rates of death from war and homicide are dramatically down; and brutality towards minorities, women, children and animals is in steady decline. Weaving together psychology and history, science and popular culture, The Better Angles of Our Nature reinvigorates the ideals of modernity, progress and enlightenment. 'His book will change the way you see the world . . . Pinker's powerful ideas, vivid stories and sparkling prose make this hard to put down.' Daily Mail 'May prove to be one of the great books of our time . . . he writes like an angel.' Economist 'Masterly, a supremely important book . . . For anyone interested in human nature, it is engrossing.' The New York Times 'Marvellous . . . riveting and myth-destroying.' New Statesman 'A marvellous synthesis of science, history and storytelling, written in Pinker's distinctively entertaining and clear personal style . . . I was astonished by the extent to which violence has declined in every shape, form and scale.' Financial Times 'An outstanding fruitful read, with fascinating nuggets on almost every page.' Sunday Times, Book of the Year

Enlightenment Now

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0525427570
File Size: 72,83 MB
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An assessment of the human condition in the twenty-first century presents data demonstrating that life quality, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise throughout the world because of the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.