Declínio da violência: dominando o diabo dentro de nós

quinta-feira, outubro 27, 2011

Decline of violence: Taming the devil within us

Steven Pinker

Nature, 478, 309-311 (20 October 2011) 

First paragraph: "The twentieth century was the bloodiest in history." This frequently asserted claim is popular among the romantic, the religious, the nostalgic and the cynical. They use it to impugn a range of ideas that flourished in that century, including science, reason, secularism, Darwinism and the ideal of progress. But this historical factoid is rarely backed up by numbers, and it is almost certainly an illusion. We are prone to think that modern life is more violent because historical records from recent eras are more complete, and because the human mind overestimates the frequency of vivid, memorable events. We also care more about violence today. Ancient histories are filled with glorious conquests that today would be classified as genocide, and the leaders known to history as So-and-So the Great would today be prosecuted as war criminals.

FREE PDF GRATIS [Courtesy/Cortesia: Steve Pinker]