Steven Pinker and the Failure of New Optimism

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Posted (edited)

On the whole, while many of the points that the video essay brings up are fair and valid critiques of Steven Pinker and The New Optimism paradigm, it also shares many of the same limitations that nearly all postmodern deconstruction of Grand Narratives fall in to at some point.

Namely that by failing to think Dialectically and Developmentally, and by overlooking the interior aspects of development that gave rise to its own worldview, deconstructive postmodernism is ultimately self undermining. It's only because of the qualitative changes in development that the Enlightenment and Modernity brought about (including Industrialization and Globalization), that the Pluralistic worldview that the video essayist is espousing is even possible in the first place.

(To be fair, he does briefly address some of these points in the conclusion of the video).

That's not to say said criticism isn't Valid; only that it's partial and perspectival evaluation of the legacy of the Enlightenment and Modernity.

Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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