So many people attacking Descartes! They say now that he is responsible for: our hyper-rationalism; the falling away of Western peoples from faith traditions; the destruction of spirituality in the West; the narcissism of post-1968; noxious aspects of neo-liberalism; the destabilization of Western civilization.
I don’t go along with this. People forget that before Descartes, people were being burned at the stake. Today people who have never heard of Descartes are decapitating other people.
So, I reproduce here Steven Pinker on what we know which is classic Descartes. Words by which I live.
Steven Pinker (Harvard University). Unknown date. WHAT WE KNOW
The findings of science entail that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures—their theories of the origins of life, humans, and societies—are factually mistaken.We know, but our ancestors did not, that humans belong to a single species of African primate that developed agriculture, government, and writing late in its history. We…
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