.... According to Pinker, new studies that quantify the increase and decrease in violence over the course of history lead to the conclusion that it is in constant decline. As evidence of this, he notes that many forms of violence have disappeared from the world, or have at least become rare and are condemned in the West... - as he wrote in an article titled A History of Violence (on www.edge.org ). [more]
....Haidt began reading political psychology. Karen Stenner’s The Authoritarian Dynamic, “conveyed some key insights about protecting the group that were particularly insightful,” he said. The work of the French sociologist Emile Durkheim was also vital. In contrast to John Stuart Mill, a Durkheimian society, as Haidt explains in an essay for edge.org, “would value self-control over self-expression, duty over rights, and loyalty to one’s groups over concerns for out-groups."[more]
"A bold scientific humanist vision combined with the microcosm of life sciences."
In 2006 Dr. Pinker was invited to write an essay on the theme “What Are You Optimistic About?” His answer: “The decline of violence.” [ED note: you can see his answer to the Edge question here].
The reaction to the essay was swift and surprising. “I started hearing from scholars from fields that I was barely aware of, saying, ‘There’s much more evidence on this trend than you were aware of,’ ” he said. [more]
.....A winning combination of good writers, good science and serious broader concerns. (Starred Review, November 15, 2011).