In The Storm of Progress, Wade Rowland argues that by better understanding human nature in the light of current scientific and philosophical knowledge, we can better—and we can do better. Because we have what it takes—because we are good.
Here are some other books about progress that Rowland recommends.
Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World, by Naomi Klein
A brilliant journalist’s deeply insightful recounting of her experience of messed-up politics in the online media world.
The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, by Karl Polanyi
A timeless classic on the Enlightenment-era rise of the modern market economy. Polanyi lived in Pickering, Ont. for many years until his death in 1964.
While my own book peers into the past for inspiration, Ingraham focuses on the future as projected through science. There is more than a little overlap.
Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity, and The Malaise of Modernity, by Charles Taylor
The long and short of the eminent philosopher’s influential trenchant critique of Post-Enlightenment modernity.
The Real World of Democracy, by C.B. Macpherson
The renowned historian’s concise (the fourth in the long-running CBC Massey Lecture series) and original look at modern democracy as it emerged alongside market capitalism.
America By Design: Science, Technology and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism, by David Noble
The late York University historian’s classic work on the link between the rise of the modern business corporation and the evolution of our contemporary economic system and its technologies.
The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart, by Astra Taylor
How our current existential crises have resulted from a social order built on insecurity. Top-notch literary journalism.
Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives, by Joseph Heath
The U of T philosopher’s search for the roots of today’s social and political fragmentation in the persistence of Enlightenment thought.
My Life in Propaganda: A Memoir about Language and Totalitarian Regimes, by Magda Stroinska
The esteemed linguist’s insights into the phenomenon of authoritarian populism as it is unfolding in Eastern Europe, and here at home.
In a time of existential threats from climate change, computer-based superintelligences, AI-accelerated nuclear and biological warfare and more, we can no longer avoid some profound questions about what's going on.
Why is it that what we've been taught to celebrate as progress, as modern history's greatest social and technical achievements, are now threatening our very existence?
Author Wade Rowland writes that the worst of these global crises are the fruits of a basic error made by well-intentioned Enlightenment thinkers at the dawn of the scientific revolution: a misunderstanding of the essence of humanity. In assuming the worst about human nature and fashioning a civilization based on those false assumptions, some of early modern philosophy's most revered thinkers set us on a dangerous path.
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