Publication details

Je současný člověk přirozeně mírumilovnější?

Title in English Is Contemporary Human Naturally More Peaceful?


Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Studia philosophica
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web Digitální knihovna FF MU
Keywords violence decline; reason; empathy; value shift; Steven Pinker; progress
Description In the paper I summarize the content of the influential book The better angels of our nature: Why violence has declined (by Steven Pinker) and afterwards criticize Pinker’s analysis of the development of violence in the human history. I present already existing criticism of this book, which shows not only that Pinker’s description of various historical periods is in some respect unbalanced, but also that his general claim about rising peacefulness of society is from a statistical point of view not proven. I also present my own criticism of identified psychological changes that have led – according to Pinker – to unprecedented peacefulness of contemporary people. I argue that we cannot be sure that either such psychological changes really occur (in the case of the rise of the female-titled value system of care and in the case of rising empathy) or that these changes really led to increased peacefulness (rise of utilitarian values and of abstract thinking).
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