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Head of Zeus
The Flame of Reason
The Flame of Reason: Clear Thinking for the Twenty-First Century by Christer Sturmark, translated by Douglas Hofstadter

A passionate, highly accessible clarion call to a world dangerously threatened by irrational superstitions of all kinds.

In country after country, conspiracy theories and religious dogmas that once seemed to have been overtaken by enlightened thought are helping to loft authoritarian leaders into power. The effects are being felt by women, ethnic minorities, teachers, scientists and students – and by the environment, the ultimate victim of climate change denial. We need clear thinking now more than ever.

Christer Sturmark is a crusading secular humanist as well as a Swedish publisher and entrepreneur, and The Flame of Reason is his manifesto for a better world. It provides a set of simple tools for clear thinking in the face of populist dogmas, anti-science attitudes and pseudo-philosophy, and suggestions for how we can move towards a new enlightenment.

From truth to Quantum Physics, moral philosophy to the Myers-Briggs test, Sturmark offers a passionate defence of rational thought, science, tolerance and pluralism; a warm and engaging guide for anyone who wants to better navigate the modern world.

Translated by and co-written with Douglas Hofstadter, celebrated cognitive scientist, physicist and author of Godel, Escher, Bach.

Truly a book for our time' Steven Pinker

'In Sweden's public square, Christer Sturmark has done as much as anyone to uphold reason and humane critical thinking' Richard Dawkins

'As lucid and illuminating as it is warm and inspiring' Rebecca Goldstein

'If a book like this had been available when I was in my late teens, it would have saved me years of collecting and contemplating important information about human thinking – and its failures' Dan Larhammar, President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Current Affairs
14 Apr 2022 * 352pp * £25 * 9781803280981
REVIEWS
'In an era in which the ideals of the Enlightenment need all the help they can get, we're lucky to have such a lucid, stylish, and intelligent exposition and defense. This is truly a book for our time'
Steven Pinker
'In Sweden's public square, Christer Sturmark has done as much as anyone to uphold reason and humane critical thinking ... and now his values are gathered and refocused in this book'
Richard Dawkins
'Christer Sturmark reflects on our place in history as well as on our potential future as a more united and reasoning humankind. He gives a credible and sensible voice to the new enlightenment-oriented worldview'
Björn Ulvaeus
'If a book like this had been available when I was in my late teens, it would have saved me years of collecting and contemplating important information about human thinking – and its failures'
Dan Larhammar, President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
'As lucid and illuminating as it is warm and inspiring'
Rebecca Goldstein
Author
Christer Sturmark
Christer Sturmark
Christer Sturmark is a Swedish author and public intellectual. He is the founder and publisher of Fri Tanke ('Free Thought') and often appears on television and in public gatherings to defend science and to argue against dogmas, superstition, and pseudoscientific thinking. He lives on the island of Lidingö, just outside Stockholm, with his nine-year-old son Leo, and enjoys playing piano, guitar, and chess.
Translator
Douglas Hofstadter
Douglas Hofstadter
Douglas Hofstadter is a professor of cognitive science and comparative literature at Indiana University. His first book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. He is known for his writings on minds and machines, analogy, and translation.
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The Flame of Reason