Anorak News | Stephen Pinker on the closing down of rationality and open minds

Stephen Pinker on the closing down of rationality and open minds

by | 23rd, September 2021

In the Times, Professor Stephen Pinker, an experimental cognitive scientist, is talking about the rationality and its death on college campuses. He’s a new book out. Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters?. He tells the paper:

The good news is that we need not rely on our individual brains. We can outsource the work to institutions and professions we trust to be collectively rational. The bad news is that such trust is low and, Pinker believes, our institutions are uninterested in earning it back.

“Science is completely oblivious to that,” he says. “I found my fellow scientists, our scientific societies, for example, pretty much parrot the politically correct boiler plate on race, on inequality, on crime. You get no sense from the National Academy of Sciences or Science magazine that these are impartial arbiters of social issues. Their positions are indistinguishable from The New York Times and The Guardian, and this is a failing because it’s branding the institution of science as part of the elite, left-leaning establishment. It’s inviting people on the right to reject them.”

Views are so polarised now that debate is akin to trench warfare. No longer do we debate in pursuit of truth and then go out for a drink together. He hunker down and find like minds to point at them and sneer.

Posted: 23rd, September 2021 | In: Broadsheets, News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink