Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Decline of Violence

According to a recent book our times are less violent than in historical times. The book is called “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” and is by a well-known professor of psychology, one Steven Pinker. A review of the book by Scientific American reports an interview as follows:

COOK: What would you say is the biggest misconception people have about violence?
PINKER: That we are living in a violent age. The statistics suggest that this may be the most peaceable time in our species’s existence.

His conclusions are not uncontroversial but he makes a convincing and very interesting case.