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Is Jackson Lears Anti-Scientific or Just a Plain Old Smarty-Pants?

Readers of TNR were recently treated to a longish essay from renowned psychologist Steven Pinker in which he claims that Jackson Lears (among others in the “humanities”) is a “zealous prosecutor” of “scientism.”  Since many of us are familiar with Lears’s work on late 19th century America, I suppose it would not come as a surprise that he might register a skeptical comment or two regarding the promise of science to deliver moral truth.  But, wow!, does Pinker do a hatchet job on the general approach historians–especially intellectual historians–bring to their critiques of movements with aspirations to change life as Read more