Friday, July 07, 2017

Humanism

Readers of Sapiens will recognize many familiar themes in Harari's new book, Homo Deus, above all the centrality of what he calls intersubjective realities - things that exist and have meaning only because lots of people believe in them, including God, money, nations, corporations and religions. The second part of his new book is devoted to a discussion and critique of what he calls the dominant modern religion, Humanism.

He begins, though, with the transformative power of the twin inventions in ancient Sumer of money and writing, and the consequent multiplication of the importance of bureaucratic classes. Harari is a witty and engaging writer, and he deploys a powerful erudition in illustrating his points.