Thanks to Pangburn Philosophy and Travis Pangburn Harvard University psychologist Dr. Steven Pinker and Skeptic publisher Dr. Michael Shermer had an enlightening conversation for a full house at the L’Olympia theater in Montreal, where Pinker grew up.
Pinker and Shermer discussed morality and science, morality and politics, good and evil, moral progress in an era of Populism and Nationalism, the negativity bias and how to put into perspective all the bad news reported daily by the media, and how to find meaning and purpose in a humanistic nontheist worldview.
Dr. Steven Pinker is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University where he conducts research on language and cognition. He writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time and The Atlantic, and is the author of ten books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Stuff of Thought, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and most recently, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.
Dr. Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101. He is the author of Why People Believe Weird Things, Why Darwin Matters, The Science of Good and Evil, and The Moral Arc. His new book is Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality & Utopia.
This conversation took place on September 16th, 2018 at the Olympia Theatre in Montréal, Canada.