Commonwealth National Podcast

Steven Pinker: Why Violence Has Declined (10/9/12)

Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; Author, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

Despite what can sometimes appear to be a pervasive culture of violence, Pinker, a leading expert on language and the mind, posits that we might in fact be living in one of the most peaceful times of our existence. Our wars are proportionally a fraction as deadly as ancient tribal warfare, and smaller-scale violence has also waned over the centuries, he claims. If human nature is unchanged, asks Pinker, then why has violence in society declined? Come explore the lessons of history with Pinker as he examines how the decline in violence has transformed our society and offers his thoughts on the continuation for future generations.