Steven Pinker’s recent article on scientism in the New Republic is getting a lot of attention. It is not an easily summarized essay, but I will do so anyways. It is a suggestion that the sciences have a great deal to contribute to the humanities even if neither are reducible to the other.
A recent video by another New Republic writer/editor, Leon Wiseltier, suggests something of a response that is examined in more detail here. It confronts some of Pinker’s ideas on Big Data and the quantification of life (i.e. the measurement of ‘happiness’ by economists) and social relations more broadly.