- Russell Blackford
- Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
On Pinker and violence
Three pieces on the ABC Religion and Ethics site: one by Pinker himself, which summarises his views on the historical decline of violence ... one by John Gray (who takes Pinker to task in a way that many of you will be familiar with if you've read a lot of his work) ... and one by me (basically a positive review of Pinker's new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature.)
Posted by Russell Blackford at 1:39 pm
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It seems like Mr. Pinker's main point is that the probability of one of us dying an unexpected violent death has reduced. So what? It's been replaced by something even more horrible. People are now dying protracted deaths, by the millions, from the effects of poverty. We've regressed to the days of serfdom. And what about the psychological violence being inflicted on the people of the world today? To not point this out is a sure sign of moral decay.
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