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The Better Angels of Our Nature. Summary

A book of a Harvard scientist Steven Pinker “Angels of human nature: The reasons for the decline of violence” is distinguished by the scale of the problem being discussed and put forward valid arguments. The question became whether our world for centuries is safer or more dangerous for life, confident Steven Pinker says that the world has become a lot safer. Moreover, I agree with him.


In search of answers to his questions, the author examines the details of history, psychology, cognitive science, economics and sociology. He also is not afraid to go into such philosophical depth as the role of reason in ethics.

Our age is far less brutal, less violent and more peaceful than any other previous historical eras. Violence is reduced at all levels: in families, in the cities, between nations and states. Its contemporaries are far less likely to die a violent death or suffer any other way from violence and cruelty than the people who lived in the previous century.

Now there are less a disgusted by humanity of violence against ethnic minorities, women, children, people with alternative sexual orientation, animals. This fact has evolved particularly active in the past 50 years. The author does not believe that the movement to protect these groups have achieved their goals, but he recalled that only recently in the southern US states lynching were ended.

I agree with the author in the sense that the state monopoly on the use of violence is important, but the spread of trade creates incentives for cooperation and prevent violent conflict. Also, a gender equality has a calming effect on the state of society. Pinker’s assertion that the mind is an important factor in the development of trends that he describes partly based on the “Flynn effect.”

I believe that humanity has a great opportunity to avoid conflict, but this is nothing more than an opportunity.

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