Does the phrase "though without major piece" mean "though without the most important part"? If so, it is still not clear to me.

Merriam Webster explains "major piece" as "a queen or rook in chess", then the phrase could mean "though without a center". I am not sure.

Steven Pinker tweeted just now:

The Darkening Mind: Interesting analysis of the zero-sum, pre-Enlightenment thinking of the Trumpist right and woke left, partly overlapping with Enlightenment Now (though without major piece: data showing that the Enlightenment is working).

1 Answer 1


The phrase is missing an article -- maybe because he was running out of characters. It should be: though without *a* major piece. It's not entirely clear what 'piece' is referring to, but it likely means piece of the story or piece of the puzzle, which is a set phrase. He's basically saying there's an important part (or piece) of the story that the analysis neglected to include. So he's saying it's a good analysis, but incomplete because it's missing a big thing (the data). I don't think it's referring to a major chess piece.

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