Steven Pinker and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

The long reach of reason

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Here's a TED first: an animated Socratic dialog! In a time when irrationality seems to rule both politics and culture, has reasoned thinking finally lost its power? Watch as psychologist Steven Pinker is gradually, brilliantly persuaded by philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein that reason is actually the key driver of human moral progress, even if its effect sometimes takes generations to unfold. The dialog was recorded live at TED, and animated, in incredible, often hilarious, detail by Cognitive.

About the speakers
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein · Philosopher and writer

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein writes novels and nonfiction that explore questions of philosophy, morality and being.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein writes novels and nonfiction that explore questions of philosophy, morality and being.

Steven Pinker · Psychologist

Steven Pinker questions the very nature of our thoughts — the way we use words, how we learn, and how we relate to others. In his best-selling books, he has brought sophisticated language analysis to bear on topics of wide general interest.

Steven Pinker questions the very nature of our thoughts — the way we use words, how we learn, and how we relate to others. In his best-selling books, he has brought sophisticated language analysis to bear on topics of wide general interest.