Posted on December 12, by Scott Alexander Aquinas famously said: For example, take medical research. Suppose a certain drug is weakly effective against a certain disease. After a few years, a bunch of different research groups have gotten their hands on it and done all sorts of different studies.
Pinker uses the phrase as a metaphor for four human motivations — empathy, self-control, the "moral sense," and reason — that, he writes, can "orient us away from violence and towards cooperation and altruism. The decline in violence, he argues, is enormous in magnitude, visible on both long and short time scales, and found in many domains, including military conflict, homicide, genocide, torture, criminal justice, and treatment of children, homosexuals, animals and racial and ethnic minorities.
He stresses that "The decline, to be sure, has not been smooth; it has not brought violence down to zero; and it is not guaranteed to continue. He specifically rejects the view that humans are necessarily violent, and thus have to undergo radical change in order to become more peaceable.
However, Pinker also rejects what he regards as the simplistic nature versus nurture argument, which would imply that the radical change must therefore have come purely from external "nurture" sources.
The Leviathan — the rise of the modern nation-state and judiciary "with a monopoly on the legitimate use of force ," which "can defuse the [individual] temptation of exploitative attack, inhibit the impulse for revenge, and circumvent Chapter 8 discusses five "inner demons" - psychological systems that can lead to violence.
Chapter 9 examines four "better angels" or motives that can incline people away from violence. The last chapter examines the five historical forces listed above that have led to declines in violence.
Six trends of declining violence Chapters 2 through 7 [ edit ] The Pacification Process: Pinker describes this as the transition from "the anarchy of hunting, gathering, and horticultural societies Pinker argues that "between the late Middle Ages and the 20th century, European countries saw a tenfold-to-fiftyfold decline in their rates of homicide.
He says this revolution "unfolded on the [shorter] scale of centuries and took off around the time of the Age of Reason and the European Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Inquiries into the history of the Cold War. Pinker calls this trend "more tenuous," but "since the end of the Cold War inorganized conflicts of all kinds - civil wars, genocides, repression by autocratic governments, and terrorist attacks - have declined throughout the world.
The postwar period has seen, Pinker argues, "a growing revulsion against aggression on smaller scales, including violence against ethnic minorities, women, children, homosexuals, and animals.
Nothing could be further from contemporary scientific understanding of the psychology of violence. It is the output of several psychological systems that differ in their environmental triggers, their internal logic, their neurological basis, and their social distribution.
Predatory or Practical Violence: Influences[ edit ] Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the book Pinker uses a range of sources from different fields.
Particular attention is paid to philosopher Thomas Hobbes who Pinker argues has been undervalued.
In an earlier work Pinker characterized the general misunderstanding concerning Hobbes: Hobbes is commonly interpreted as proposing that man in a state of nature was saddled with an irrational impulse for hatred and destruction. In fact his analysis is more subtle, and perhaps even more tragic for he showed how the dynamics of violence fall out of interactions among rational and self-interested agents.
To have command of so much research, spread across so many different fields, is a masterly achievement. Pinker convincingly demonstrates that there has been a dramatic decline in violence, and he is persuasive about the causes of that decline.
The trends are not subtle — many of the changes involve an order of magnitude or more.
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The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined is a book by Steven Pinker, in which the author argues that violence in the world has declined both in the long run and in the short run and suggests explanations as to why this has occurred. The book contains a wealth of data simply documenting declining violence across time and .
Yes, it will. The sum of normal distributions is a normal distribution. There are of course reasons to expect an asymmetrical bell curve (the simple way to hack funnel plots is to game your choice of axis – here, for example, focusing on the elasticity of labour demand favours certain labour market models above others).
What does a good thesis statement look like? There is one big tip on writing a good essay almost every article on the web gives you.
It’s to come up with a clear and specific thesis statement.