Moral Landscapes

Living the life that is good for one to live

Humans Are Less Violent Than Ever? Than When? And How?

Depends on what history you examine and what you count as violence

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Steven Pinker tells us in his new book that humans are less violent than ever. But in his review he leaves off most of human existence. Hobbesian evolutionary psychology strikes again--confusing data and ignoring what we know of the past to feel good about today.

And, Pinker's analysis is true for recent history only in terms of physical violence. All sorts of other types of violence (e.g., institutional, emotional) are rampant in the modern world and are not tolerated in small-band hunter-gatherer societies, which represent the vast majority of human existence.

Esteemed anthropologist, Douglas Fry, has laid out these critiques of Steven Pinker's new book very well. Check it out: http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/018_04/8575

 

 

 

Darcia Narvaez is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame and Executive Editor of the Journal of Moral Education.

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