The Voluntary Life: 227 Review Of The Better Angels Of Our Nature By Steven Pinker

16 November 2015

227 Review Of The Better Angels Of Our Nature By Steven Pinker


This episode is a review of a fascinating book, The Better Angels Of Our Nature, by Steven Pinker. The following quote summarises the book's main argument:

"Believe it or not—and I know that most people do not—violence has declined over long stretches of time, and today we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence. The decline, to be sure, has not been smooth; it has not brought violence down to zero; and it is not guaranteed to continue. But it is an unmistakable development, visible on scales from millennia to years, from the waging of wars to the spanking of children."
Steven Pinker

Show Notes:

Listen To Episode 227


1 comment:

  1. For sure, free trade reduces violence. And so does the leviathan state - if you consider only violence that is implemented, and ignore violence that is threatened.

    One of the Amazon reviews puts it quite well: "we are told that, at the certain point in history, humans grew tired of continuous violence and intelligently decided to institute a state ... Historically the institution of the state has always been enacted through violence and oppression. Before the state, people have always and everywhere preferred real occasional violence rather than the systematic threat of it."

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