The Better Angels of Our Nature. The book contains a wealth of data simply documenting violence across time and geography. This paints a picture of massive declines in violence of all forms, na how it works and why book pdf war, to improved treatment of children.
The book’s title was taken from the ending of U. 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. Pinker argues that the radical declines in violent behavior that he documents do not result from major changes in human biology or cognition. He specifically rejects the view that humans are necessarily violent, and thus have to undergo radical change in order to become more peaceable.
Instead, he argues: “The way to explain the decline of violence is to identify the changes in our cultural and material milieu that have given our peaceable motives the upper hand. Pinker identifies five “historical forces” that have favored “our peaceable motives” and “have driven the multiple declines in violence. The first section of the book, chapters 2 through 7, seeks to demonstrate and to analyze historical trends related to declines of violence on different scales. 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.
The Civilizing Process: 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. Although he also points to historical antecedents and to “parallels elsewhere in the world. He writes: “It saw the first organized movements to abolish slavery, dueling, judicial torture, superstitious killing, sadistic punishment, and cruelty to animals, together with the first stirrings of systematic pacifism. This fourth “major transition,” Pinker says, “took place after the end of World War II. During it, he says, “the great powers, and the developed states in general, have stopped waging war on one another. The New Peace: Pinker calls this trend “more tenuous,” but “since the end of the Cold War in 1989, organized conflicts of all kinds – civil wars, genocides, repression by autocratic governments, and terrorist attacks – have declined throughout the world. The Rights Revolutions: 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.