References and Further Reading 1. Naturalism and the Unity of Scientific Method The achievements of the natural sciences in the wake of the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century have been most impressive.
Thesis[ edit ] The book's title was taken from the ending of U. President Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural address. Pinker uses the phrase as a metaphor for four human motivations — empathy, self-control, the "moral sense," and reason — that, he writes, can "orient us away from violence and towards cooperation and altruism.
The decline in violence, he argues, is enormous in magnitude, visible on both long and short time scales, and found in many domains, including military conflict, homicide, genocide, torture, criminal justice, and treatment of children, homosexuals, animals and racial and ethnic minorities.
He stresses that "The decline, to be sure, has not been smooth; it has not brought violence down to zero; and it is not guaranteed to continue. He specifically rejects the view that humans are necessarily violent, and thus have to undergo radical change in order to become more peaceable.
However, Pinker also rejects what he regards as the simplistic nature versus nurture argument, which would imply that the radical change must therefore have come purely from external "nurture" sources.
The Leviathan — the rise of the modern nation-state and judiciary "with a monopoly on the legitimate use of force ," which "can defuse the [individual] temptation of exploitative attack, inhibit the impulse for revenge, and circumvent Chapter 8 discusses five "inner demons" - psychological systems that can lead to violence.
Chapter 9 examines four "better angels" or motives that can incline people away from violence. The last chapter examines the five historical forces listed above that have led to declines in violence.
Six trends of declining violence Chapters 2 through 7 [ edit ] The Pacification Process: Pinker describes this as the transition from "the anarchy of hunting, gathering, and horticultural societies Pinker argues that "between the late Middle Ages and the 20th century, European countries saw a tenfold-to-fiftyfold decline in their rates of homicide.
He says this revolution "unfolded on the [shorter] scale of centuries and took off around the time of the Age of Reason and the European Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries. Inquiries into the history of the Cold War. Pinker calls this trend "more tenuous," but "since the end of the Cold War inorganized conflicts of all kinds - civil wars, genocides, repression by autocratic governments, and terrorist attacks - have declined throughout the world.
The postwar period has seen, Pinker argues, "a growing revulsion against aggression on smaller scales, including violence against ethnic minorities, women, children, homosexuals, and animals.
These spin-offs from the concept of human rights—civil rights, women's rights, children's rights, gay rights, and animal rights—were asserted in a cascade of movements from the late s to the present day. Nothing could be further from contemporary scientific understanding of the psychology of violence.
It is the output of several psychological systems that differ in their environmental triggers, their internal logic, their neurological basis, and their social distribution.
Predatory or Practical Violence: Influences[ edit ] Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the book Pinker uses a range of sources from different fields.
Particular attention is paid to philosopher Thomas Hobbes who Pinker argues has been undervalued. Pinker's use of "un-orthodox" thinkers follows directly from his observation that the data on violence contradict our current expectations.
In an earlier work Pinker characterized the general misunderstanding concerning Hobbes: Hobbes is commonly interpreted as proposing that man in a state of nature was saddled with an irrational impulse for hatred and destruction. In fact his analysis is more subtle, and perhaps even more tragic for he showed how the dynamics of violence fall out of interactions among rational and self-interested agents.Published: Mon, 5 Dec I believe that humans are naturally bad because our base mentality is one of evil.
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, human beings fought unnecessary wars, tortured prisoners, raped, murdered, and pillaged.
Human Nature in Minority Report - Human nature is the characteristics, feelings and behavioral traits of humankind. Humans are capable of expressing different kinds of emotions such as joy, frustration, despair, remorse, and other forms of emotions depending on the situations they are encountering.
Psychological Egoism. Psychological egoism is the thesis that we are always deep down motivated by what we perceive to be in our own self-interest. Psychological altruism, on the other hand, is the view that sometimes we can have ultimately altruistic motives.
Suppose, for example, that Pam saves Jim from a burning office building. What ultimately motivated her to do this? Free Essay: Human Nature Good or Bad? Whether human beings are instinctually good or evil in an elementary natural state is a question that has been boggling.
Outline Thesis: Human nature proves to be both good and evil because they’re dependent on strength despite individual experiences, showing that a person’s destiny can only be decided by themselves.
A good thesis regarding human nature in Jackson's "The Lottery" would examine the traditions society adheres to today regardless of how people outside of the "loop" look at them.