Why Steven Pinker is wrong about rationality

Rory Sutherland on the failures of rationality and science

Rationality leads to better choices in our lives and is the ultimate driver of moral progress claimed famous author and cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker. Yet many, including groundbreaking advertising executive and public intellectual Rory Sutherland, disagree. Sutherland was interviewed by the IAI to discuss his views on the failures of rationality, science, and the need to embrace irrationality and magic in our decision making.

You had an exchange a couple of years ago about the topic of rationality with Steven Pinker. Pinker wrote a book, ‘Rationality’, arguing that we need more rationality, and that its adoption would lead to better outcomes. You took issue with some of the conclusions that he reached. Why?

I think we have all been indoctrinated in some ways by high school science, in particular the hard sciences, to believe that there's an absolut

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