I mentioned before that I had no interest in reading Steven Pinker’s new book, but I certainly have enjoyed reading some of the reviews it’s been attracting. I had been hopeful that John Gray would get the assignation again, and he did. We’ll see if Pinker is provoked to an angry article-length response again, as he was when Gray criticized his Better Angels of Our Nature a few years ago. Peter Harrison also wrote a fascinating review, though I believe he’s being a bit unfair when he ascribes to Pinker a teleological faith in inevitable progress, which even I have heard Pinker deny a few times. And finally, Ross Douthat had a brief but incisive take on it.
Yuval Harari is another public intellectual with a new book about humanity’s future that I don’t plan to read, but David Berlinski gave it a pretty entertaining pummeling.