Thursday, November 10, 2011

Some Pinker links

The next part of "A Long History of Something or Other" should be up on Sunday, but for now I wany to  post a collection of critical links relating to The Better Angels of Our Nature that I found illuminating, in contrast to the glowing reviews that suggested, against all available evidence, that Pinker is a great intellectual with a marvelous command of data. I don't necessarily agree with everything said at these links, of course, and in one or two cases the intellectual context of the criticism is, ah, not my own.

A review from the philosopher John Gray, at whom Pinker takes a swipe in the book

Thoughts on John Gray's review from an intelligent design blog

One of the better reviews, positive or negative, from the popular press: the Washington Post

An essay on the political implications of Pinker's argument (read the comments too)

Research into the evidence by which Pinker treats the An Lushan revolt as proportionally the most violent event in history

Louis Menand's New Yorker review of The Blank Slate, which captures some of the same quirks found in the new book

A brief piece on Pinker's misuse of the label "anarchy," with more good comments

 Feel free to mention more interesting links in comments.

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