The Better Angels Of Our Nature

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The Better Angels of Our Nature

By Steven Pinker
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Isbn : 1101544643
  • Pages : 832
  • Category : Psychology
  • Reads : 103
  • File Pdf: the-better-angels-of-our-nature.pdf

Book Summary:

“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this—the most inspiring book I've ever read." —Bill Gates (May, 2017) Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year The author of Rationality and Enlightenment Now offers a provocative and surprising history of violence. Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millenia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, programs, gruesom punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened? This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the esesnce of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives--the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away--and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.

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Related Books

The Blank Slate

By Steven Pinker
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Isbn : 1101200324
  • Pages : 528
  • Category : Psychology
  • Reads : 770
  • File Pdf: the-blank-slate.pdf

Book Summary:

A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature from the author of Rationality, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and Enlightenment Now. "Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." --Time Updated with a new afterword One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

Only the Dead

By Bear F. Braumoeller
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Isbn : 0190849541
  • Pages : 288
  • Category : Political Science
  • Reads : 915
  • File Pdf: only-the-dead.pdf

Book Summary:

The idea that war is going out of style has become the conventional wisdom in recent years. But in Only the Dead, award-winning author Bear Braumoeller demonstrates that it shouldn't have. With a rare combination of historical expertise, statistical acumen, and accessible prose, Braumoeller shows that the evidence simply doesn't support the decline-of-war thesis propounded by scholars like Steven Pinker. He argues that the key to understanding trends in warfare lies, not in the spread of humanitarian values, but rather in the formation of international orders--sets of expectations about behavior that allow countries to work in concert, as they did in the Concert of Europe and have done in the postwar Western liberal order. With a nod toward the American sociologist Charles Tilly, who argued that "war made the state and the state made war," Braumoeller shows argues that the same is true of international orders: while they reduce conflict within their borders, they can also clash violently with one another, as the Western and communist orders did throughout the Cold War. Both highly readable and rigorous, Only the Dead offers a realistic assessment of humanity's quest to abolish warfare. While pessimists have been too quick to discount the successes of our attempts to reduce international conflict, optimists are prone to put too much faith in human nature. Reality lies somewhere in between: While the aspirations of humankind to govern its behavior with reason and justice have had shocking success in moderating the harsh dictates of realpolitik, the institutions that we have created to prevent war are unlikely to achieve anything like total success--as evidenced by the multitude of conflicts in recent decades. As the old adage advises us, only the dead have seen the end of war.

The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness

By Dacher Keltner,Jason Marsh,Jeremy Adam Smith
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
  • Isbn : 9780393076851
  • Pages : 336
  • Category : Psychology
  • Reads : 456
  • File Pdf: the-compassionate-instinct.pdf

Book Summary:

Leading scientists and science writers reflect on the life-changing, perspective-changing, new science of human goodness. In these pages you will hear from Steven Pinker, who asks, “Why is there peace?”; Robert Sapolsky, who examines violence among primates; Paul Ekman, who talks with the Dalai Lama about global compassion; Daniel Goleman, who proposes “constructive anger”; and many others. Led by renowned psychologist Dacher Keltner, the Greater Good Science Center, based at the University of California in Berkeley, has been at the forefront of the positive psychology movement, making discoveries about how and why people do good. Four times a year the center publishes its findings with essays on forgiveness, moral inspiration, and everyday ethics in Greater Good magazine. The best of these writings are collected here for the first time. A collection of personal stories and empirical research, The Compassionate Instinct will make you think not only about what it means to be happy and fulfilled but also about what it means to lead an ethical and compassionate life.

12 Rules for Life

By Jordan B. Peterson
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Random House Canada
  • Isbn : 0345816048
  • Pages : 320
  • Category : Psychology
  • Reads : 646
  • File Pdf: 12-rules-for-life.pdf

Book Summary:

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street. What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world's wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers.

The Better Angels

By Charles McCarry
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Abrams
  • Isbn : 1468300326
  • Pages : 285
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 706
  • File Pdf: the-better-angels.pdf

Book Summary:

When Charles McCarry's The Better Angels was first published almost 30 years ago, its premise--that terrorists would use passenger-filled airliners as tools of terror--seemed incredible. In retrospect, the novel would prove to be prophetic. The Better Angels takes place in an election year close to the turn of the century in a deeply polarized America. The presidential race matches a tall, lantern-jawed liberal to a far-right former businessman with deep ties to the energy industry. Meanwhile, Islamic terrorists led by an oil-rich Arab prince, desperate to acquire nuclear bombs to use against Israel or major American cities, disrupt the presidential campaign through a series of bloody suicide bombing. Finally the election itself is stolen, as one side hacks into computerized voting systems to change the tallies in key states. From the writer the New York Times Book Review called "the genuine article," The Better Angels is a thrilling and relevant masterwork.

On Violence in History

By Philip Dwyer,Mark S. Micale
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Berghahn Books
  • Isbn : 1789204666
  • Pages : 150
  • Category : History
  • Reads : 572
  • File Pdf: on-violence-in-history.pdf

Book Summary:

Is global violence on the decline? Steven Pinker’s highly-publicized argument that human violence across the world has been dramatically abating continues to influence discourse among academics and the general public alike. In this provocative volume, a cast of eminent historians interrogate Pinker’s thesis by exposing the realities of violence throughout human history. In doing so, they reveal the history of human violence to be richer, more thought-provoking, and considerably more complicated than Pinker claims.

The Science of Near-Death Experiences

By John C. Hagan
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : University of Missouri Press
  • Isbn : 0826273688
  • Pages : 183
  • Category : Body, Mind & Spirit
  • Reads : 170
  • File Pdf: the-science-of-near-death-experiences.pdf

Book Summary:

What happens to consciousness during the act of dying? The most compelling answers come from people who almost die and later recall events that occurred while lifesaving resuscitation, emergency care, or surgery was performed. These events are now called near-death experiences (NDEs). As medical and surgical skills improve, innovative procedures can bring back patients who have traveled farther on the path to death than at any other time in history. Physicians and healthcare professionals must learn how to appropriately treat patients who report an NDE. It is estimated that more than 10 million people in the United States have experienced an NDE. Hagan and the contributors to this volume engage in evidence-based research on near-death experiences and include physicians who themselves have undergone a near-death experience. This book establishes a new paradigm for NDEs.

Athens and Jerusalem

By David Novak
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : University of Toronto Press
  • Isbn : 1487533446
  • Pages : 392
  • Category : Philosophy
  • Reads : 141
  • File Pdf: athens-and-jerusalem.pdf

Book Summary:

What is the relation of philosophy and theology? This question has been a matter of perennial concern in the history of Western thought. Written by one of the premier philosophers in the areas of Jewish ethics and interfaith issues between Judaism and Christianity, Athens and Jerusalem contends that philosophy and theology are not mutually exclusive. Based on the Gifford Lectures David Novak delivered at the University of Aberdeen in 2017, this book explores the commonalities and common concerns that exist between philosophy and theology on metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical questions. Where are they different and where are they the same? And, how can they speak to one another?

What Are You Optimistic About?

By John Brockman
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Harper Collins
  • Isbn : 006187003X
  • Pages : 400
  • Category : Comics & Graphic Novels
  • Reads : 644
  • File Pdf: what-are-you-optimistic-about.pdf

Book Summary:

The nightly news and conventional wisdom tell us that things are bad and getting worse. Yet despite dire predictions, scientists see many good things on the horizon. John Brockman, publisher of Edge (www.edge.org), the influential online salon, recently asked more than 150 high-powered scientific thinkers to answer a vital question for our frequently pessimistic times: "What are you optimistic about?" Spanning a wide range of topics—from string theory to education, from population growth to medicine, and even from global warming to the end of world—What Are You Optimistic About? is an impressive array of what world-class minds (including Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times bestselling authors, and Harvard professors, among others) have weighed in to offer carefully considered optimistic visions of tomorrow. Their provocative and controversial ideas may rouse skepticism, but they might possibly change our perceptions of humanity's future.

War, Peace, and Human Nature

By Douglas P. Fry
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Isbn : 0199859000
  • Pages : 582
  • Category : Social Science
  • Reads : 791
  • File Pdf: war-peace-and-human-nature.pdf

Book Summary:

Have humans always waged war? Is warring an ancient evolutionary adaptation or a relatively recent behavior--and what does that tell us about human nature? In War, Peace, and Human Nature, editor Douglas P. Fry brings together leading experts in such fields as evolutionary biology, archaeology, anthropology, and primatology to answer fundamental questions about peace, conflict, and human nature in an evolutionary context. The chapters in this book demonstrate that humans clearly have the capacity to make war, but since war is absent in some cultures, it cannot be viewed as a human universal. And counter to frequent presumption the actual archaeological record reveals the recent emergence of war. It does not typify the ancestral type of human society, the nomadic forager band, and contrary to widespread assumptions, there is little support for the idea that war is ancient or an evolved adaptation. Views of human nature as inherently warlike stem not from the facts but from cultural views embedded in Western thinking. Drawing upon evolutionary and ecological models; the archaeological record of the origins of war; nomadic forager societies past and present; the value and limitations of primate analogies; and the evolution of agonism, including restraint; the chapters in this interdisciplinary volume refute many popular generalizations and effectively bring scientific objectivity to the culturally and historically controversial subjects of war, peace, and human nature.

Life-Study of Hebrews

By Witness Lee
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Living Stream Ministry
  • Isbn : 0736350705
  • Pages : 775
  • Category : Religion
  • Reads : 403
  • File Pdf: life-study-of-hebrews.pdf

Book Summary:

In the Lord’s recovery during the past five hundred years the church’s knowledge of the Lord and His truth has been continually progressing. This monumental and classical work by Brother Witness Lee builds upon and is a further development of all that the Lord has revealed to His church in the past centuries. It is filled with the revelation concerning the processed Triune God, the living Christ, the life-giving Spirit, the experience of life, and the definition and practice of the church. In this set Brother Lee has kept three basic principles that should rule and govern every believer in their interpretation, development, and expounding of the truths contained in the Scriptures. The first principle is that of the Triune God dispensing Himself into His chosen and redeemed people; the second principle is that we should interpret, develop, and expound the truths contained in the Bible with Christ for the church; and the third governing principle is Christ, the Spirit, life, and the church. No other study or exposition of the New Testament conveys the life nourishment or ushers the reader into the divine revelation of God’s holy Word according to His New Testament economy as this one does.

The Rubber Brain

By Sue Morris,Jacquelyn Cranney,Peter Baldwin,Leigh Mellish,Annette Krochmalik
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Australian Academic Press
  • Isbn : 192564409X
  • Pages : 276
  • Category : Self-Help
  • Reads : 425
  • File Pdf: the-rubber-brain.pdf

Book Summary:

Failed an exam, bungled an interview, screwed up a relationship, broken your diet, or stuffed up at work? Yur brain is the key to getting back on track. Change your life for the better. Learn how to ‘rubberise’ your brain, making it more flexible and resilient. Deal with challenges in an optimal way, and ‘bounce’ back from adversity. Your brain controls your conscious thoughts and behaviours, like deciding whether to study or party, or whether to get two scoops of gelato or six. And when you find yourself doing things that you wish you hadn’t done (like all that gelato), it’s likely your brain has indulged in what psychological scientists call suboptimal thinking. Essentially, your brain doesn’t always deliver the kind of thinking that leads to desired positive outcomes, such as maintaining supportive friendships, and doing well in your work, studies and social life. But you and your brain can do better. In this book, five leading psychological educators show you simple tools derived from solid science covering everything from positive psychology to goal setting, from mindfulness to CBT, and from emotional regulation to moral reasoning, to optimise your thinking. Using a model they have developed over years of study and application you can discover how resilience and psychological flexibility combine to allow you to choose ways of thinking in response to different situations that will produce the best outcome for you for that situation. Read this book and learn how to optimally tackle issues of motivation, stress, time-management, and relationship maintenance. Your mind will be clearer and your life better.

Reality Is Broken

By Jane McGonigal
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Isbn : 1101475498
  • Pages : 416
  • Category : Psychology
  • Reads : 503
  • File Pdf: reality-is-broken.pdf

Book Summary:

“McGonigal is a clear, methodical writer, and her ideas are well argued. Assertions are backed by countless psychological studies.” —The Boston Globe “Powerful and provocative . . . McGonigal makes a persuasive case that games have a lot to teach us about how to make our lives, and the world, better.” —San Jose Mercury News “Jane McGonigal's insights have the elegant, compact, deadly simplicity of plutonium, and the same explosive force.” —Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother A visionary game designer reveals how we can harness the power of games to boost global happiness. With 174 million gamers in the United States alone, we now live in a world where every generation will be a gamer generation. But why, Jane McGonigal asks, should games be used for escapist entertainment alone? In this groundbreaking book, she shows how we can leverage the power of games to fix what is wrong with the real world-from social problems like depression and obesity to global issues like poverty and climate change-and introduces us to cutting-edge games that are already changing the business, education, and nonprofit worlds. Written for gamers and non-gamers alike, Reality Is Broken shows that the future will belong to those who can understand, design, and play games. Jane McGonigal is also the author of SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient.

The Progress Paradox

By Gregg Easterbrook
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Random House
  • Isbn : 1588363260
  • Pages : 400
  • Category : Self-Help
  • Reads : 105
  • File Pdf: the-progress-paradox.pdf

Book Summary:

In The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook draws upon three decades of wide-ranging research and thinking to make the persuasive assertion that almost all aspects of Western life have vastly improved in the past century--and yet today, most men and women feel less happy than in previous generations. Why this is so and what we should do about it is the subject of this book. Between contemporary emphasis on grievances and the fears engendered by 9/11, today it is common to hear it said that life has started downhill, or that our parents had it better. But objectively, almost everyone in today’s United States or European Union lives better than his or her parents did. Still, studies show that the percentage of the population that is happy has not increased in fifty years, while depression and stress have become ever more prevalent. The Progress Paradox explores why ever-higher living standards don’t seem to make us any happier. Detailing the emerging science of “positive psychology,” which seeks to understand what causes a person’s sense of well-being, Easterbrook offers an alternative to our culture of crisis and complaint. He makes a Compelling case that optimism, gratitude, and acts of forgiveness not only make modern life more fulfilling but are actually in our self-interest. Seemingly insoluble problems of the past, such as crime in New York City and smog in Los Angeles, have proved more tractable than they were thought to be. Likewise, today’s “impossible” problems, such as global warming and Islamic terrorism, can be tackled too. Like The Tipping Point, this book offers an affirming and constructive way of seeing the world anew. The Progress Paradox will change the way you think about your place in the world, and about our collective ability to make it better.

For Us, The Living

By Robert A. Heinlein
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Isbn : 0743261577
  • Pages : 288
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 845
  • File Pdf: for-us-the-living.pdf

Book Summary:

From Grandmaster Robert A. Heinlein comes a long-lost first novel, written in 1939 and never before published, introducing ideas and themes that would shape his career and define the genre that is synonymous with his name. July 12, 1939 Perry Nelson is driving along the palisades when suddenly another vehicle swerves into his lane, a tire blows out, and his car careens off the road and over a bluff. The last thing he sees before his head connects with the boulders below is a girl in a green bathing suit, prancing along the shore.... When he wakes, the girl in green is a woman dressed in furs and the sun-drenched shore has transformed into snowcapped mountains. The woman, Diana, rescues Perry from the bitter cold and takes him inside her home to rest and recuperate. Later they debate the cause of the accident, for Diana is unfamiliar with the concept of a tire blowout and Perry cannot comprehend snowfall in mid-July. Then Diana shares with him a vital piece of information: The date is now January 7. The year...2086. When his shock subsides, Perry begins an exhaustive study of global evolution over the past 150 years. He learns, among other things, that a United Europe was formed and led by Edward, Duke of Windsor; former New York City mayor LaGuardia served two terms as president of the United States; the military draft was completely reconceived; banks became publicly owned and operated; and in the year 2003, two helicopters destroyed the island of Manhattan in a galvanizing act of war. This education in the ways of the modern world emboldens Perry to assimilate to life in the twenty-first century. But education brings with it inescapable truths -- the economic and legal systems, the government, and even the dynamic between men and women remain alien to Perry, the customs of the new day continually testing his mental and emotional resolve. Yet it is precisely his knowledge of a bygone era that will serve Perry best, as the man from 1939 seems destined to lead his newfound peers even further into the future than they could have imagined. A classic example of the future history that Robert Heinlein popularized during his career, For Us, The Living marks both the beginning and the end of an extraordinary arc of political, social, and literary crusading that comprises his legacy. Heinlein could not have known in 1939 how the world would change over the course of one and a half centuries, but we have our own true world history to compare with his brilliant imaginings, rendering For Us, The Living not merely a novel, but a time capsule view into our past, our present, and perhaps our future. The novel is presented here with an introduction by acclaimed science fiction writer Spider Robinson and an afterword by Professor Robert James of the Heinlein Society.

Hierarchy in the Forest

By Christopher BOEHM,Christopher Boehm
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Harvard University Press
  • Isbn : 0674028449
  • Pages : 304
  • Category : Science
  • Reads : 308
  • File Pdf: hierarchy-in-the-forest.pdf

Book Summary:

Are humans by nature hierarchical or egalitarian? Hierarchy in the Forest addresses this question by examining the evolutionary origins of social and political behavior. Christopher Boehm, an anthropologist whose fieldwork has focused on the political arrangements of human and nonhuman primate groups, postulates that egalitarianism is in effect a hierarchy in which the weak combine forces to dominate the strong. The political flexibility of our species is formidable: we can be quite egalitarian, we can be quite despotic. Hierarchy in the Forest traces the roots of these contradictory traits in chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and early human societies. Boehm looks at the loose group structures of hunter-gatherers, then at tribal segmentation, and finally at present-day governments to see how these conflicting tendencies are reflected. Hierarchy in the Forest claims new territory for biological anthropology and evolutionary biology by extending the domain of these sciences into a crucial aspect of human political and social behavior. This book will be a key document in the study of the evolutionary basis of genuine altruism. Table of Contents: The Question of Egalitarian Society Hierarchy and Equality Putting Down Aggressors Equality and Its Causes A Wider View of Egalitarianism The Hominoid Political Spectrum Ancestral Politics The Evolution of Egalitarian Society Paleolithic Politics and Natural Selection Ambivalence and Compromise in Human Nature References Index Reviews of this book: This well-written book, geared toward an audience with background in the behavioral and evolutionary sciences but accessible to a broad readership, raises two general questions: 'What is an egalitarian society?' and 'How have these societies evolved?'...[Christopher Boehm] takes the reader on a journey from the Arctic to the Americas, from Australia to Africa, in search of hunter-gatherer and tribal societies that emanate the egalitarian ethos--one that promotes generosity, altruism and sharing but forbids upstartism, aggression and egoism. Throughout this journey, Boehm tantalizes the reader with vivid anthropological accounts of ridicule, criticism, ostracism and even execution--prevalent tactics used by subordinates in egalitarian societies to level the social playing field...Hierarchy in the Forest is an interesting and thought-provoking book that is surely an important contribution to perspectives on human sociality and politics. --Ryan Earley, American Scientist Reviews of this book: Combing an exhaustive ethnographic survey of human societies from groups of hunter-gatherers to contemporary residents of the Balkans with a detailed analysis of the behavioral attributes of non-human primates (chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos), Boehm focuses on whether humans are hierarchical or egalitarian by nature...[Boehm's hypotheses] are invariably intriguing and well documented...He raises topics of wide interest and his book should get attention. --Publishers Weekly Boehm has been the first to look at egalitarianism with a cold, unromantic eye. He sees it as a victory over hierarchical tendencies, which are equally marked in our species. I would predict that his insightful examination will reverberate within anthropology and the social sciences as well as among biologists interested in the evolution of social systems. --Frans de Waal, Emory University Hierarchy in the Forest is an original and stimulating contribution to thinking about the origins of egalitarianism. I personally find Boehm's ideas convincing, but whether one agrees with him or not, he has formulated his hypotheses in such a way that this book is likely to set the terms of the discussion for the forseeable future. --Barbara Smuts, University of Michigan The most unique and interesting feature of this clear, well written book is the way Boehm links the study of nonhuman primates (particularly chimpanzees) to traditional concepts of political anthropology. As a political scientist, I was intrigued by Boehm's suggestion that democracy, both ancient and modern, could be understood as the expression of the same natural dispositions that support the egalitarianism of nomadic bands and sedentary tribes. I expect that many scholars in biology, anthropology, and the social sciences would learn from this stimulating book. Even those who disagree with Boehm's arguments are likely to be provoked in instructive ways. --Larry Arnhart, Northern Illinois University Chris Boehm boldly and cogently attacks a whole orthodoxy in anthropology which sees hunter-gatherer 'egalitarianism' as somehow the basic form of human society. No praise can be too high for Boehm's brilliant and courageous book. --Robin Fox, Rutgers University

Moral Origins

By Christopher Boehm
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Basic Books
  • Isbn : 0465029191
  • Pages : 432
  • Category : Science
  • Reads : 360
  • File Pdf: moral-origins.pdf

Book Summary:

From the age of Darwin to the present day, biologists have been grappling with the origins of our moral sense. Why, if the human instinct to survive and reproduce is "selfish," do people engage in self-sacrifice, and even develop ideas like virtue and shame to justify that altruism? Many theories have been put forth, some emphasizing the role of nepotism, others emphasizing the advantages of reciprocation or group selection effects. But evolutionary anthropologist Christopher Boehm finds existing explanations lacking, and in Moral Origins, he offers an elegant new theory. Tracing the development of altruism and group social control over 6 million years, Boehm argues that our moral sense is a sophisticated defense mechanism that enables individuals to survive and thrive in groups. One of the biggest risks of group living is the possibility of being punished for our misdeeds by those around us. Bullies, thieves, free-riders, and especially psychopaths -- those who make it difficult for others to go about their lives -- are the most likely to suffer this fate. Getting by requires getting along, and this social type of selection, Boehm shows, singles out altruists for survival. This selection pressure has been unique in shaping human nature, and it bred the first stirrings of conscience in the human species. Ultimately, it led to the fully developed sense of virtue and shame that we know today.A groundbreaking exploration of the evolution of human generosity and cooperation, Moral Origins offers profound insight into humanity's moral past -- and how it might shape our moral future.

Eaarth

By Bill McKibben
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Knopf Canada
  • Isbn : 0307399206
  • Pages : 256
  • Category : Science
  • Reads : 275
  • File Pdf: eaarth.pdf

Book Summary:

The bestselling author of Deep Economy shows that we’re living on a fundamentally altered planet — and opens our eyes to the kind of change we’ll need in order to make our civilization endure. Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we’ve waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We’ve created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth. That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A changing world costs large sums to defend — think of the money that went to repair New Orleans, or the trillions of dollars it will take to transform our energy systems. But the endless economic growth that could underwrite such largesse depends on the stable planet we’ve managed to damage and degrade. We can’t rely on old habits any longer. Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back — on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change — fundamental change — is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.

Primates and Philosophers

By Frans de Waal
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Isbn : 1400830338
  • Pages : 232
  • Category : Science
  • Reads : 544
  • File Pdf: primates-and-philosophers.pdf

Book Summary:

Can virtuous behavior be explained by nature, and not by human rational choice? "It's the animal in us," we often hear when we've been bad. But why not when we're good? Primates and Philosophers tackles this question by exploring the biological foundations of one of humanity's most valued traits: morality. In this provocative book, renowned primatologist Frans de Waal argues that modern-day evolutionary biology takes far too dim a view of the natural world, emphasizing our "selfish" genes and reinforcing our habit of labeling ethical behavior as humane and the less civilized as animalistic. Seeking the origin of human morality not in evolution but in human culture, science insists that we are moral by choice, not by nature. Citing remarkable evidence based on his extensive research of primate behavior, de Waal attacks "Veneer Theory," which posits morality as a thin overlay on an otherwise nasty nature. He explains how we evolved from a long line of animals that care for the weak and build cooperation with reciprocal transactions. Drawing on Darwin, recent scientific advances, and his extensive research of primate behavior, de Waal demonstrates a strong continuity between human and animal behavior. He probes issues such as anthropomorphism and human responsibilities toward animals. His compelling account of how human morality evolved out of mammalian society will fascinate anyone who has ever wondered about the origins and reach of human goodness. Based on the Tanner Lectures de Waal delivered at Princeton University's Center for Human Values in 2004, Primates and Philosophers includes responses by the philosophers Peter Singer, Christine M. Korsgaard, and Philip Kitcher and the science writer Robert Wright. They press de Waal to clarify the differences between humans and other animals, yielding a lively debate that will fascinate all those who wonder about the origins and reach of human goodness.

The Art and Craft of Problem Solving

By Paul Zeitz
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Wiley Global Education
  • Isbn : 1118916662
  • Pages : 380
  • Category : Mathematics
  • Reads : 310
  • File Pdf: the-art-and-craft-of-problem-solving.pdf

Book Summary:

Appealing to everyone from college-level majors to independent learners, The Art and Craft of Problem Solving, 3rd Edition introduces a problem-solving approach to mathematics, as opposed to the traditional exercises approach. The goal of The Art and Craft of Problem Solving is to develop strong problem solving skills, which it achieves by encouraging students to do math rather than just study it. Paul Zeitz draws upon his experience as a coach for the international mathematics Olympiad to give students an enhanced sense of mathematics and the ability to investigate and solve problems.

The Better Angels

By Robert C. Plumb
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : U of Nebraska Press
  • Isbn : 1640123261
  • Pages : 272
  • Category : Biography & Autobiography
  • Reads : 653
  • File Pdf: the-better-angels.pdf

Book Summary:

Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Clara Barton, Julia Ward Howe, and Sarah Josepha Hale came from backgrounds that ranged from abject enslavement to New York City's elite. Surmounting social and political obstacles, they emerged before and during the worst crisis in American history, the Civil War. Their actions became strands in a tapestry of courage, truth, and patriotism that influenced the lives of millions--and illuminated a new way forward for the nation. In this collective biography, Robert C. Plumb traces these five remarkable women's awakenings to analyze how their experiences shaped their responses to the challenges, disappointments, and joys they encountered on their missions. Here is Tubman, fearless conductor on the Underground Railroad, alongside Stowe, the author who awakened the nation to the evils of slavery. Barton led an effort to provide medical supplies for field hospitals, and Union soldiers sang Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic" on the march. And, amid national catastrophe, Hale's campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday moved North and South toward reconciliation.

The Better Angels

By Robert C. Plumb
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : U of Nebraska Press
  • Isbn : 1640123288
  • Pages : 272
  • Category : Biography & Autobiography
  • Reads : 577
  • File Pdf: the-better-angels.pdf

Book Summary:

Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Clara Barton, Julia Ward Howe, and Sarah Josepha Hale came from backgrounds that ranged from abject enslavement to New York City’s elite. Surmounting social and political obstacles, they emerged before and during the worst crisis in American history, the Civil War. Their actions became strands in a tapestry of courage, truth, and patriotism that influenced the lives of millions—and illuminated a new way forward for the nation. In this collective biography, Robert C. Plumb traces these five remarkable women’s awakenings to analyze how their experiences shaped their responses to the challenges, disappointments, and joys they encountered on their missions. Here is Tubman, fearless conductor on the Underground Railroad, alongside Stowe, the author who awakened the nation to the evils of slavery. Barton led an effort to provide medical supplies for field hospitals, and Union soldiers sang Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic” on the march. And, amid national catastrophe, Hale’s campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday moved North and South toward reconciliation.

Rage of Poseidon

By Anders Nilsen
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Drawn & Quarterly
  • Isbn : 1770465901
  • Pages : 76
  • Category : Comics & Graphic Novels
  • Reads : 249
  • File Pdf: rage-of-poseidon.pdf

Book Summary:

A wise and funny collection of modern-day parables about the ties between humans and their gods Imagine you are Poseidon at the dawn of the twenty-first century. The oceans are dying and sailors have long since stopped paying tribute. They just don't don't need you anymore. What do you do? Perhaps, seeking answers, you go exploring. Maybe you end up in Wisconsin and discover the pleasures of the iced latte. And then, perhaps, everything goes wrong. Anders Nilsen, author of Big Questions and Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow, explores questions like these in his newest work, a darkly funny meditation on religion and faith with a modern twist. Rage of Poseidon brings all of the philosophical depth of Nilsen’s earlier work to bear on contemporary society, asking how a twenty-first century child might respond to being sacrificed on a mountaintop, and probing the role gods like Venus and Bacchus might have in the world of today. Nilsen works in a unique style for these short stories, distilling individual moments in black silhouette on a spare white background. Above all, though, he immerses us seamlessly in a world where gods and humans are more alike than not, forcing us to recognize the humor in our (and their) desperation. Rage of Poseidon is devastating, insightful, and beautiful hewn; it’s a wry triumph in an all-new style from a masterful artist.

The Eloquent President

By Ronald C. White
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Random House
  • Isbn : 030779685X
  • Pages : 480
  • Category : History
  • Reads : 646
  • File Pdf: the-eloquent-president.pdf

Book Summary:

The fact that Abraham Lincoln is now universally recognized as America’s greatest political orator would have surprised many of the citizens who voted him into office. Ungainly in stature and awkward in manner, the newly elected Lincoln was considered a Western stump speaker and debater devoid of rhetorical polish. Then, after the outbreak of the Civil War, he stood before the nation to deliver his Message to Congress in Special Session on July 4, 1861, and, as a contemporary editor put it, “some of us who doubted were wrong.” In The Eloquent President, historian Ronald White examines Lincoln’s astonishing oratory and explores his growth as a leader, a communicator, and a man of deepening spiritual conviction. Examining a different speech, address, or public letter in each chapter, White tracks the evolution of Lincoln’s rhetoric from the measured, lawyerly tones of the First Inaugural, to the imaginative daring of the 1862 Annual Message to Congress, to the haunting, immortal poetry of the Gettysburg Address. As a speaker who appealed not to intellect alone, but also to the hearts and souls of citizens, Lincoln persuaded the nation to follow him during the darkest years of the Civil War. Through the speeches and what surrounded them–the great battles and political crises, the president’s private anguish and despair, the impact of his words on the public, the press, and the nation at war–we see the full sweep and meaning of the Lincoln presidency. As he weighs the biblical cadences and vigorous parallel structures that make Lincoln’s rhetoric soar, White identifies a passionate religious strain that most historians have overlooked. It is White’s contention that as president Lincoln not only grew into an inspiring leader and determined commander in chief, but also embarked on a spiritual odyssey that led to a profound understanding of the relationship between human action and divine will. Brilliantly written, boldly original in conception, The Eloquent President blends history, biography, and a deep intuitive appreciation for the quality of Lincoln’s extraordinary mind. With grace and insight, White captures the essence of the four most critical years of Lincoln’s life and makes the great words live for our time in all their power and beauty.

A Guinea Pig's History Of Biology

By Jim Endersby
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Random House
  • Isbn : 1448106850
  • Pages : 512
  • Category : Science
  • Reads : 824
  • File Pdf: a-guinea-pig-s-history-of-biology.pdf

Book Summary:

The triumphs of recent biology - understanding hereditary disease, the modern theory of evolution - are all thanks to the fruit fly, the guinea pig, the zebra fish and a handful of other organisms, which have helped us unravel one of life's greatest mysteries - inheritance. Jim Endersby traces his story from Darwin hand-pollinating passion flowers in his back garden in an effort to find out whether his decision to marry his cousin had harmed their children, to today's high-tech laboratories, full of shoals of shimmering zebra fish, whose bodies are transparent until they are mature, allowing scientists to watch every step as a single fertilised cell multiples to become millions of specialised cells that make up a new fish. Each story has - piece by piece - revealed how DNA determines the characteristics of the adult organism. Not every organism was as cooperative as the fruit fly or zebra fish, some provided scientists with misleading answers or encouraged them to ask the wrong questions.

Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference

By Cordelia Fine
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
  • Isbn : 9780393079258
  • Pages : 304
  • Category : Social Science
  • Reads : 713
  • File Pdf: delusions-of-gender.pdf

Book Summary:

“[Fine’s] sharp tongue is tempered with humor. . . . Read this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.”—The New York Times It’s the twenty-first century, and although we tried to rear unisex children—boys who play with dolls and girls who like trucks—we failed. Even though the glass ceiling is cracked, most women stay comfortably beneath it. And everywhere we hear about vitally important “hardwired” differences between male and female brains. The neuroscience that we read about in magazines, newspaper articles, books, and sometimes even scientific journals increasingly tells a tale of two brains, and the result is more often than not a validation of the status quo. Women, it seems, are just too intuitive for math; men too focused for housework. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, Cordelia Fine debunks the myth of hardwired differences between men’s and women’s brains, unraveling the evidence behind such claims as men’s brains aren’t wired for empathy and women’s brains aren’t made to fix cars. She then goes one step further, offering a very different explanation of the dissimilarities between men’s and women’s behavior. Instead of a “male brain” and a “female brain,” Fine gives us a glimpse of plastic, mutable minds that are continuously influenced by cultural assumptions about gender. Passionately argued and unfailingly astute, Delusions of Gender provides us with a much-needed corrective to the belief that men’s and women’s brains are intrinsically different—a belief that, as Fine shows with insight and humor, all too often works to the detriment of ourselves and our society.

The Death of Democracy

By Benjamin Carter Hett
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Isbn : 0735234825
  • Pages : 304
  • Category : History
  • Reads : 230
  • File Pdf: the-death-of-democracy.pdf

Book Summary:

A riveting account of how the Nazi Party came to power and how the failures of the Weimar Republic and the shortsightedness of German politicians allowed it to happen Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time. To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. He would never have come to power if Germany's leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler's hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship. Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicans show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.

Summary of Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature by Milkyway Media

By Milkyway Media
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Milkyway Media
  • Isbn : N.a
  • Pages : 34
  • Category : Study Aids
  • Reads : 101
  • File Pdf: summary-of-steven-pinker-s-the-better-angels-of-our-nature.pdf

Book Summary:

Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2012), is a robust tour of progress in human civilization across several centuries. Despite commonly held perceptions, influenced by a news media which incessantly dwells on the worst aspects of society, humanity has become less, not more violent over time... Purchase this in-depth summary to learn more.

Language, Cognition, and Human Nature

By Steven Pinker
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Isbn : 0199361150
  • Pages : 392
  • Category : Psychology
  • Reads : 744
  • File Pdf: language-cognition-and-human-nature.pdf

Book Summary:

Language, Cognition, and Human Nature collects together for the first time much of Steven Pinker's most influential scholarly work on language and cognition. Pinker's seminal research explores the workings of language and its connections to cognition, perception, social relationships, child development, human evolution, and theories of human nature. This eclectic collection spans Pinker's thirty-year career, exploring his favorite themes in greater depth and scientific detail. It includes thirteen of Pinker's classic articles, ranging over topics such as language development in children, mental imagery, the recognition of shapes, the computational architecture of the mind, the meaning and uses of verbs, the evolution of language and cognition, the nature-nurture debate, and the logic of innuendo and euphemism. Each outlines a major theory or takes up an argument with another prominent scholar, such as Stephen Jay Gould, Noam Chomsky, or Richard Dawkins. Featuring a new introduction by Pinker that discusses his books and scholarly work, this collection reflects essential contributions to cognitive science by one of our leading thinkers and public intellectuals.

Words and Rules

By Steven Pinker
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Basic Books
  • Isbn : 0465049710
  • Pages : 384
  • Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Reads : 673
  • File Pdf: words-and-rules.pdf

Book Summary:

"If you are not already a Steven Pinker addict, this book will make you one." --Jared Diamond In Words and Rules, Steven Pinker explores profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple phenomenon--regular and irregular verbs--and examining it from every angle. With humor and verve, he covers an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities, from the history of languages to how to simulate languages on computers to major ideas in the history of Western philosophy. Through it all, Pinker presents a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules. The idea extends beyond language and offers insight into the very nature of the human mind. This is a sparkling, eye-opening, and utterly original book by one of the world's leading cognitive scientists.

The Darker Angels of Our Nature

By Philip Dwyer,Mark Micale
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Isbn : 1350140619
  • Pages : 416
  • Category : History
  • Reads : 453
  • File Pdf: the-darker-angels-of-our-nature.pdf

Book Summary:

In The Better Angels of Our Nature Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker argued that modern history has witnessed a dramatic decline in human violence of every kind, and that in the present we are experiencing the most peaceful time in human history. But what do top historians think about Pinker's reading of the past? Does his argument stand up to historical analysis? In The Darker Angels of our Nature, seventeen scholars of international stature evaluate Pinker's arguments and find them lacking. Studying the history of violence from Japan and Russia to Native America, Medieval England and the Imperial Middle East, these scholars debunk the myth of non-violent modernity. Asserting that the real story of human violence is richer, more interesting and incomparably more complex than Pinker's sweeping, simplified narrative, this book tests, and bests, 'fake history' with expert knowledge.