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The Resource The better angels of our nature : why violence has declined, Steven Pinker

The better angels of our nature : why violence has declined, Steven Pinker

Label
The better angels of our nature : why violence has declined
Title
The better angels of our nature
Title remainder
why violence has declined
Statement of responsibility
Steven Pinker
Title variation
Why violence has declined
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
  • Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened? This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives--the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away--and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society
  • We've all asked, "What is the world coming to?" But we seldom ask, "How bad was the world in the past?" In this book, the author, a cognitive scientist shows that the past was much worse; and that we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species' existence. Evidence of a bloody history has always been around us: genocides in the Old Testament, gory mutilations in Shakespeare and Grimm, monarchs who beheaded their relatives, and American founders who dueled with their rivals; the nonchalant treatment in popular culture of wife-beating, child abuse, and the extermination of native peoples. The murder rate in medieval Europe was more than thirty times what it is today. Slavery, sadistic punishments, and frivolous executions were common features of life for millennia, then were suddenly abolished. How could this have happened, if human nature has not changed? The author argues that thanks to the spread of government, literacy, trade, and cosmopolitanism, we increasingly control our impulses, empathize with others, bargain rather than plunder, debunk toxic ideologies, and deploy our powers of reason to reduce the temptations of violence.-- From publisher description
  • This volume argues that violence in the world has declined both in the long run and in the short, and suggests explanations why this has happened. The author maintains that the key to explaining the decline of violence is to understand the "inner demons" that incline us toward violence and the "better angels" that steer us away. Thanks to the spread of government, literacy, trade, and cosmopolitanism, we increasingly control our impulses, empathize with others, debunk toxic ideologies, and deploy our powers of reason to reduce the temptations of violence. The book is divided into 2 parts. The first part is an effort to describe a broad sweep of human history from prehistoric societies to the present, arguing for a progressive though intermittent decline in violence in human societies. The second part is an effort to understand the underpinnings of the decline in violence in terms of human psychological processes
Cataloging source
BTCTA
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1954-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Pinker, Steven
Dewey number
303.6
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
  • charts
Index
index present
LC call number
HM1116
LC item number
.P57 2012
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Violence
  • Violence
  • Nonviolence
Label
The better angels of our nature : why violence has declined, Steven Pinker
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Originally published: New York: Viking; London: Allen Lane, 2011
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 739-771) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • 1. Foreign Country : -- Human prehistory -- Homeric Greece -- Hebrew bible -- Roman Empire and early Christendom --Medieval knights -- Early modern Europe -- Honor in Europe and the early United States -- 20th century
  • 2. Pacification process : -- Logic of violence -- Violence in human ancestors -- Kinds of human societies -- Rates of violence in state and nonstate societies -- Civilization and its discontents
  • 3. Civilizing Process : -- European homicide decline -- Explaining the European homicide decline -- Violence and class -- Violence around the world -- Violence in these United States -- Decivilization in the 1960s -- Recivilization in the 1990s
  • 4. Humanitarian Revolution : -- Superstitious killing: human sacrifice, witchcraft, and blood libel -- Superstitious killing: violence against blasphemers, heretics, and apostates -- Cruel and unusual punishments -- Capital punishment -- Slavery -- Despotism and political violence -- Major war -- Whence the humanitarian revolution? -- Rise of empathy and the regard for human life -- Republic of letters and enlightenment humanism -- Civilization and enlightenment -- Blood and soil
  • 5. Long Peace : -- Statistics and narratives -- Was the 20th century really the worst? -- Statistics Of Deadly Quarrels, Part 1: Timing of wars -- Statistics Of Deadly Quarrels, Part 2: Magnitude of wars -- Trajectory of great power war -- Trajectory of European war -- Hobbesian background and the ages of dynasties and religions -- Three currents in the age of sovereignty -- Counter-enlightenment ideologies and the age of nationalism -- Humanism and totalitarianism in the age of ideology -- Long Peace: Some numbers -- Long Peace: Attitudes and events -- Is the long peace a nuclear peace? -- Is the long peace a democratic peace? -- Is the long peace a liberal peace? -- Is the long peace a Kantian peace?
  • 6. New Peace : -- Trajectory of war in the rest of the world -- Trajectory of genocide -- Trajectory of terrorism -- Where angels fear to tread
  • 7. Rights Revolutions : -- Civil rights and the decline of lynching and racial pogroms -- Women's rights and the decline of rape and battering -- Children's rights and the decline of infanticide, spanking, child abuse, and bullying -- Gay rights, the decline of gay-bashing, and the decriminalization of homosexuality -- Animal rights and the decline of cruelty of animals -- Whence the rights revolutions? -- From history to psychology
  • 8. Inner Demons : -- Dark side -- Moralization gap and the myth of pure evil -- Organs of violence -- Predation -- Dominance -- Revenge -- Sadism -- Ideology -- Pure evil, inner demons, and the decline of violence
  • 9. Better Angles : -- Empathy -- Self-control -- Recent biological evolution? -- Morality and taboo -- Reason
  • 10. On Angel's Wings : -- Important but inconsistent -- Pacifist's dilemma -- Leviathan -- Gentle commerce -- Feminization -- Expanding circle -- Escalator of reason -- Reflections
Control code
ocn775418869
Dimensions
23 cm
Extent
xxviii, 802 pages
Isbn
9780143122012
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations, maps, charts
System control number
(OCoLC)775418869
Label
The better angels of our nature : why violence has declined, Steven Pinker
Publication
Copyright
Note
Originally published: New York: Viking; London: Allen Lane, 2011
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 739-771) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • 1. Foreign Country : -- Human prehistory -- Homeric Greece -- Hebrew bible -- Roman Empire and early Christendom --Medieval knights -- Early modern Europe -- Honor in Europe and the early United States -- 20th century
  • 2. Pacification process : -- Logic of violence -- Violence in human ancestors -- Kinds of human societies -- Rates of violence in state and nonstate societies -- Civilization and its discontents
  • 3. Civilizing Process : -- European homicide decline -- Explaining the European homicide decline -- Violence and class -- Violence around the world -- Violence in these United States -- Decivilization in the 1960s -- Recivilization in the 1990s
  • 4. Humanitarian Revolution : -- Superstitious killing: human sacrifice, witchcraft, and blood libel -- Superstitious killing: violence against blasphemers, heretics, and apostates -- Cruel and unusual punishments -- Capital punishment -- Slavery -- Despotism and political violence -- Major war -- Whence the humanitarian revolution? -- Rise of empathy and the regard for human life -- Republic of letters and enlightenment humanism -- Civilization and enlightenment -- Blood and soil
  • 5. Long Peace : -- Statistics and narratives -- Was the 20th century really the worst? -- Statistics Of Deadly Quarrels, Part 1: Timing of wars -- Statistics Of Deadly Quarrels, Part 2: Magnitude of wars -- Trajectory of great power war -- Trajectory of European war -- Hobbesian background and the ages of dynasties and religions -- Three currents in the age of sovereignty -- Counter-enlightenment ideologies and the age of nationalism -- Humanism and totalitarianism in the age of ideology -- Long Peace: Some numbers -- Long Peace: Attitudes and events -- Is the long peace a nuclear peace? -- Is the long peace a democratic peace? -- Is the long peace a liberal peace? -- Is the long peace a Kantian peace?
  • 6. New Peace : -- Trajectory of war in the rest of the world -- Trajectory of genocide -- Trajectory of terrorism -- Where angels fear to tread
  • 7. Rights Revolutions : -- Civil rights and the decline of lynching and racial pogroms -- Women's rights and the decline of rape and battering -- Children's rights and the decline of infanticide, spanking, child abuse, and bullying -- Gay rights, the decline of gay-bashing, and the decriminalization of homosexuality -- Animal rights and the decline of cruelty of animals -- Whence the rights revolutions? -- From history to psychology
  • 8. Inner Demons : -- Dark side -- Moralization gap and the myth of pure evil -- Organs of violence -- Predation -- Dominance -- Revenge -- Sadism -- Ideology -- Pure evil, inner demons, and the decline of violence
  • 9. Better Angles : -- Empathy -- Self-control -- Recent biological evolution? -- Morality and taboo -- Reason
  • 10. On Angel's Wings : -- Important but inconsistent -- Pacifist's dilemma -- Leviathan -- Gentle commerce -- Feminization -- Expanding circle -- Escalator of reason -- Reflections
Control code
ocn775418869
Dimensions
23 cm
Extent
xxviii, 802 pages
Isbn
9780143122012
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations, maps, charts
System control number
(OCoLC)775418869

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