St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) September 05, 2012
St. Louis County Library Foundation presents psychologist and bestselling author Steven Pinker for a discussion of “The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined.” The event will be held on Wednesday, October 10, at 7:00 p.m. at Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
The program is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Books for signing will be available at the event from Barnes & Noble.
In his gripping New York Times bestseller, Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding many myths about violence and modernity, “The Better Angels of our Nature” continues Pinker’s exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world.
For most of history, human sacrifice, torture, mutilation, slavery, murder and blood sport were commonplace. Today, these practices have been abolished in much of the world, and are being pushed to the margins in the rest. Whether counting police-blotter murders or genocides, death tolls in war, or the spanking of children and the treatment of animals, rates of violence have decreased over time. Using more than a hundred graphs and maps, Pinker shows that the conventional wisdom that we are living in an exceptionally violent era is an illusion, stoked by media coverage of the goriest events and fanned by an increasing awareness of violence.
Drawing from psychology, history, neuroscience, war studies, game theory, and popular culture, Pinker explores where violence comes from, why it has been so common over the course of history, and how we have been slowly bringing it under control.
Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind, and human nature. Currently Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has also received seven honorary doctorates, several teaching awards, and numerous prizes for his books “The Language Instinct,” “How the Mind Works,” and “The Blank Slate.” He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazine’s “The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,” Foreign Policy’s “100 Global Thinkers,” and Time magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”
Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300 or visit http://www.slcl.org.