The Better Angels of Our Nature

Why Violence Has Declined
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
ISBN: 0143122010
Category: Psychology
Page: 802
View: 4852

Continue Reading →

Presents a controversial history of violence which argues that today's world is the most peaceful time in human existence, drawing on psychological insights into intrinsic values that are causing people to condemn violence as an acceptable measure.

The Better Angels of Our Nature

Why Violence Has Declined
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101544643
Category: Psychology
Page: 832
View: 7413

Continue Reading →

“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this—the most inspiring book I've ever read." —Bill Gates (May, 2017) Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year The author of Enlightenment Now and The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence. 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 millenia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, programs, gruesom 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 esesnce 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.

The Better Angels of Our Nature

Why Violence Has Declined
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143122010
Category: Psychology
Page: 802
View: 7889

Continue Reading →

Presents a controversial history of violence which argues that today's world is the most peaceful time in human existence, drawing on psychological insights into intrinsic values that are causing people to condemn violence as an acceptable measure.

The Better Angels of Our Nature

The Decline of Violence In History And Its Causes
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141959746
Category: History
Page: 1056
View: 5320

Continue Reading →

'The most inspiring book I've ever read' Bill Gates, 2017 'A brilliant, mind-altering book ... Everyone should read this astonishing book' Guardian 'Will change the way you see the world' Daily Mail Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2012 Wasn't the twentieth century the most violent in history? In his extraordinary, epic book Steven Pinker shows us that this is wrong, telling the story of humanity in a completely new and unfamiliar way. From why cities make us safer to how books bring about peace, Pinker weaves together history, philosophy and science to examine why we are less likely to die at another's hand than ever before, how it happened and what it tells us about our very natures. 'May prove to be one of the great books of our time ... he writes like an angel' Economist 'Masterly, a supremely important book ... For anyone interested in human nature, it is engrossing' The New York Times 'Marvellous ... riveting and myth-destroying' New Statesman 'A marvellous synthesis of science, history and storytelling, written in Pinker's distinctively entertaining and clear personal style ... I was astonished by the extent to which violence has declined in every shape, form and scale' Financial Times 'An outstandingly fruitful read, with fascinating nuggets on almost every page' Sunday Times, Books of the Year

The Better Angels of Our Nature

A History of Violence and Humanity
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780141034645
Category: Violence
Page: 1026
View: 7445

Continue Reading →

Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful time in out species' history. In this epic exploration of the human condition, Steven Pinker shows that, despite the constant stream of news about war, crime and terrorism, violence of all kinds has been decreasing. Barbaric practices such as human sacrifice, torture-executions and chattel slavery have been abolished; rates of death from war and homicide are dramatically down; and brutality towards minorities, women, children and animals is in steady decline. Weaving together psychology and history, science and popular culture, The Better Angles of Our Nature reinvigorates the ideals of modernity, progress and enlightenment. 'His book will change the way you see the world . . . Pinker's powerful ideas, vivid stories and sparkling prose make this hard to put down.' Daily Mail 'May prove to be one of the great books of our time . . . he writes like an angel.' Economist 'Masterly, a supremely important book . . . For anyone interested in human nature, it is engrossing.' The New York Times 'Marvellous . . . riveting and myth-destroying.' New Statesman 'A marvellous synthesis of science, history and storytelling, written in Pinker's distinctively entertaining and clear personal style . . . I was astonished by the extent to which violence has declined in every shape, form and scale.' Financial Times 'An outstanding fruitful read, with fascinating nuggets on almost every page.' Sunday Times, Book of the Year

Enlightenment Now

The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0525427570
Category: Psychology
Page: 556
View: 6186

Continue Reading →

An assessment of the human condition in the twenty-first century presents data demonstrating that life quality, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise throughout the world because of the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

How the Mind Works


Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393069737
Category: Science
Page: 672
View: 3643

Continue Reading →

“A model of scientific writing: erudite, witty, and clear.” —New York Review of Books In this Pulitzer Prize finalist and national bestseller, one of the world's leading cognitive scientists tackles the workings of the human mind. What makes us rational—and why are we so often irrational? How do we see in three dimensions? What makes us happy, afraid, angry, disgusted, or sexually aroused? Why do we fall in love? And how do we grapple with the imponderables of morality, religion, and consciousness? ?How the Mind Works? synthesizes the most satisfying explanations of our mental life from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and other fields to explain what the mind is, how it evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel, laugh, interact, enjoy the arts, and contemplate the mysteries of life. This new edition of Pinker's bold and buoyant classic is updated with a new foreword by the author.

The Stuff of Thought

Language as a Window into Human Nature
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101202609
Category: Psychology
Page: 512
View: 6354

Continue Reading →

This New York Times bestseller is an exciting and fearless investigation of language from the author of Better Angels of Our Nature and The Sense of Style and Enlightenment Now. "Curious, inventive, fearless, naughty." --The New York Times Book Review Bestselling author Steven Pinker possesses that rare combination of scientific aptitude and verbal eloquence that enables him to provide lucid explanations of deep and powerful ideas. His previous books - including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Blank Slate - have catapulted him into the limelight as one of today's most important popular science writers. In The Stuff of Thought, Pinker presents a fascinating look at how our words explain our nature. Considering scientific questions with examples from everyday life, The Stuff of Thought is a brilliantly crafted and highly readable work that will appeal to fans of everything from The Selfish Gene and Blink to Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

Language, Cognition, and Human Nature

Selected Articles
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199361150
Category: Psychology
Page: 392
View: 4859

Continue Reading →

Language, Cognition, and Human Nature collects together for the first time much of Steven Pinker's most influential scholarly work on language and cognition. Pinker's seminal research explores the workings of language and its connections to cognition, perception, social relationships, child development, human evolution, and theories of human nature. This eclectic collection spans Pinker's thirty-year career, exploring his favorite themes in greater depth and scientific detail. It includes thirteen of Pinker's classic articles, ranging over topics such as language development in children, mental imagery, the recognition of shapes, the computational architecture of the mind, the meaning and uses of verbs, the evolution of language and cognition, the nature-nurture debate, and the logic of innuendo and euphemism. Each outlines a major theory or takes up an argument with another prominent scholar, such as Stephen Jay Gould, Noam Chomsky, or Richard Dawkins. Featuring a new introduction by Pinker that discusses his books and scholarly work, this collection reflects essential contributions to cognitive science by one of our leading thinkers and public intellectuals.

Big Ideas in Social Science


Author: David Edmonds,Nigel Warburton
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 147393348X
Category: Social Science
Page: 184
View: 8456

Continue Reading →

Are human beings less violent than before? Why do we adopt certain moral and political judgements? Why is the gap between rich and poor getting bigger? How do we decide which criminal policies are effective? What is the Population Challenge for the 21st Century? What is social science? In Big Ideas in Social Science, David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton put these and more of our society’s burning questions to 18 of the world’s leading social scientists including Steven Pinker, Ann Oakley, Lawrence Sherman, Kate Pickett, Robert J. Shiller and Doreen Massey. The result is a collection of thought-provoking discussions that span the fields of sociology, politics, economics, criminology, geography and many more.From the people who brought us the Philosophy Bites series, Big Ideas in Social Science is a fascinating and accessible introduction to the key ideas and findings of the social sciences. The interviews for this book are based on a series of podcasts, Social Science Bites, sponsored by SAGE. Social Science Bites was inspired by the popular Philosophy Bites podcast (www.philosophybites.com), which was founded by David and Nigel in 2007 and has so far had 26 million downloads. Philosophy Bites has spawned three books, Philosophy Bites, Philosophy Bites Back and Philosophy Bites Again.

The Better Angels of Our Nature


Author: Joulia Smortchkova
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1351351176
Category:
Page: N.A
View: 1571

Continue Reading →

Reasoning is the critical thinking skill concerned with the production of arguments: making them coherent, consistent, and well-supported; and responding to opposing positions where necessary. The Better Angels of Our Nature offers a step-by-step class in precisely these skills. Author Steven Pinker's central thesis is simple: mankind has become increasingly less violent over the centuries, and will continue to do so. Pinker is aware, though, that many people instinctively believe the opposite, and Better Angels is devoted to marshalling data to support and illustrate this central argument, as well as a series of secondary arguments about how and why humanity has become less violent. Pinker's interpretative skills - understanding the meaning of the complex evidence from history - are also on display throughout, as he tackles the ambiguities of his data, the problems it presents, and the viable inferences one can draw from it.

Prosocial Motives, Emotions, and Behavior

The Better Angels of Our Nature
Author: Mario Mikulincer,Phillip R. Shaver
Publisher: Amer Psychological Assn
ISBN: N.A
Category: Psychology
Page: 468
View: 6837

Continue Reading →

This book examines the interplay of positive and negative influences on human behavior from a variety of perspectives. It contains contributions from recognized pioneers of research on prosocial behavior. It also includes contributions from widely-recognized experts in their subject areas. It examines several prosocial emotions, such as compassionate love, gratitude, generosity, and forgiveness, showing how these arise in individuals and groups and how they can be fostered.

The Sense of Style

The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 0143127799
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 368
View: 6085

Continue Reading →

"Charming and erudite . . . The wit and insight and clarity he brings . . . is what makes this book such a gem." --Time.com Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Do the kids today even care about good writing--and why should we care? In this entertaining and eminently practical book, the cognitive scientist, dictionary consultant, and New York Times-bestselling author Steven Pinker rethinks the usage guide for the twenty-first century. Using examples of great and gruesome modern prose while avoiding the scolding tone and Spartan tastes of the classic manuals, he shows how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery and a fascinating intellectual topic in its own right. The Sense of Style is for writers of all kinds, and for readers who are interested in letters and literature and are curious about the ways in which the sciences of mind can illuminate how language works at its best.

Becoming Evil

How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing
Author: James Waller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195314565
Category: Psychology
Page: 351
View: 1308

Continue Reading →

Political or social groups wanting to commit mass murder on the basis of racial, ethnic or religious differences are never hindered by a lack of willing executioners. Social psychologist James Waller uncovers the internal and external factors which lead ordinary people to commit these acts of evil.

The Blank Slate

The Modern Denial of Human Nature
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101200322
Category: Psychology
Page: 528
View: 1309

Continue Reading →

A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature. "Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." -Time Now updated with a new afterword One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

Winning the War on War

The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide
Author: Joshua S. Goldstein
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101549084
Category: Political Science
Page: 400
View: 2726

Continue Reading →

Everyone knows: wars are getting worse, more civilians are dying, and peacemaking achieves nothing, right? Wrong. Despite all the bad-news headlines, peacekeeping is working. Fewer wars are starting, more are ending, and those that remain are smaller and more localized. But peace doesn’t just happen; it needs to be put into effect. Moreover, understanding the global decline in armed conflict is crucial as America shifts to an era of lower military budgets and operations. Preeminent scholar of international relations, Joshua Goldstein, definitively illustrates how decades of effort by humanitarian aid agencies, popular movements—and especially the United Nations—have made a measureable difference in reducing violence in our times. Goldstein shows how we can continue building on these inspiring achievements to keep winning the war on war. This updated and revised edition includes more information on a post-9-11 world, and is a perfect compendium for those wishing to learn more about the United States’ armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Behave

The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
Author: Robert M. Sapolsky
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0735222789
Category: Science
Page: 800
View: 5318

Continue Reading →

Why do we do the things we do? Over a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky's genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its genetic inheritance. And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. What goes on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happens? Then he pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell triggers the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones act hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli which trigger the nervous system? By now, he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened. Sapolsky keeps going--next to what features of the environment affected that person's brain, and then back to the childhood of the individual, and then to their genetic makeup. Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than that one individual. How culture has shaped that individual's group, what ecological factors helped shape that culture, and on and on, back to evolutionary factors thousands and even millions of years old. The result is one of the most dazzling tours de horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do...for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.

The Evolution of Violence


Author: Todd K. Shackelford,Ranald D. Hansen
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461493145
Category: Psychology
Page: 244
View: 5023

Continue Reading →

This volume is an interdisciplinary exploration of our understanding of the causes and consequences of violence. Represented in its chapters are noted scholars from a variety of fields including psychology, anthropology, law, and literature. The contributions reflect a broad scope of inquiry and diverse levels of analysis. With an underlying evolutionary theme each of the contributors invoke their separate areas of expertise, offering empirical and theoretical insights to this complex subject. The multi-faceted aspect of the book is meant to engender new perspectives that will synthesize current knowledge and lead to a more nuanced understanding of an ever timely issue in human behavior. Of additional interest, is a foreword written by world renowned psychologist, Steven Pinker, and an afterword by noted evolutionary scholar, Richard Dawkins.

War Before Civilization


Author: Lawrence H. Keeley
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199880700
Category: Social Science
Page: 272
View: 3870

Continue Reading →

The myth of the peace-loving "noble savage" is persistent and pernicious. Indeed, for the last fifty years, most popular and scholarly works have agreed that prehistoric warfare was rare, harmless, unimportant, and, like smallpox, a disease of civilized societies alone. Prehistoric warfare, according to this view, was little more than a ritualized game, where casualties were limited and the effects of aggression relatively mild. Lawrence Keeley's groundbreaking War Before Civilization offers a devastating rebuttal to such comfortable myths and debunks the notion that warfare was introduced to primitive societies through contact with civilization (an idea he denounces as "the pacification of the past"). Building on much fascinating archeological and historical research and offering an astute comparison of warfare in civilized and prehistoric societies, from modern European states to the Plains Indians of North America, War Before Civilization convincingly demonstrates that prehistoric warfare was in fact more deadly, more frequent, and more ruthless than modern war. To support this point, Keeley provides a wide-ranging look at warfare and brutality in the prehistoric world. He reveals, for instance, that prehistorical tactics favoring raids and ambushes, as opposed to formal battles, often yielded a high death-rate; that adult males falling into the hands of their enemies were almost universally killed; and that surprise raids seldom spared even women and children. Keeley cites evidence of ancient massacres in many areas of the world, including the discovery in South Dakota of a prehistoric mass grave containing the remains of over 500 scalped and mutilated men, women, and children (a slaughter that took place a century and a half before the arrival of Columbus). In addition, Keeley surveys the prevalence of looting, destruction, and trophy-taking in all kinds of warfare and again finds little moral distinction between ancient warriors and civilized armies. Finally, and perhaps most controversially, he examines the evidence of cannibalism among some preliterate peoples. Keeley is a seasoned writer and his book is packed with vivid, eye-opening details (for instance, that the homicide rate of prehistoric Illinois villagers may have exceeded that of the modern United States by some 70 times). But he also goes beyond grisly facts to address the larger moral and philosophical issues raised by his work. What are the causes of war? Are human beings inherently violent? How can we ensure peace in our own time? Challenging some of our most dearly held beliefs, Keeley's conclusions are bound to stir controversy.

Words and Rules

The Ingredients Of Language
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465049710
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 384
View: 8656

Continue Reading →

"If you are not already a Steven Pinker addict, this book will make you one." --Jared Diamond In Words and Rules, Steven Pinker explores profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple phenomenon--regular and irregular verbs--and examining it from every angle. With humor and verve, he covers an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities, from the history of languages to how to simulate languages on computers to major ideas in the history of Western philosophy. Through it all, Pinker presents a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules. The idea extends beyond language and offers insight into the very nature of the human mind. This is a sparkling, eye-opening, and utterly original book by one of the world's leading cognitive scientists.