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The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

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... Cooperation often becomes possible through various mechanisms including direct reciprocity [1], indirect reciprocity [2], social norms [3] and institutions that are specifically designed to solve social dilemmas [4]. For instance, modern societies have succeeded in dramatically reducing rates of violence [5], through institutions like the police and the judicial system as well as strong social norms of non-violence. ...
... This is often referred to as mechanism design. For instance, institutions such as the police and the judicial system incentivize humans to cooperate in the social dilemma of peaceful coexistence, and have succeeded in dramatically reducing rates of violence [5]. ...
... In the following, we summarize the experimental results. 5 resulting degree of cooperation is at least somewhat higher than the baseline of a mean reward of 0 (which results from both agents picking up coins of both colours). ...
Thesis
In the future, artificial learning agents are likely to become increasingly widespread in our society. They will interact with both other learning agents and humans in a variety of complex settings including social dilemmas. We argue that there is a need for research on the intersection between game theory and artificial intelligence, with the goal of achieving cooperative artificial intelligence that can navigate social dilemmas well. We consider the problem of how an external agent can promote cooperation between artificial learners by distributing additional rewards and punishments based on observing the learners' actions. We propose a rule for automatically learning how to create right incentives by considering the players' anticipated parameter updates. Using this learning rule leads to cooperation with high social welfare in matrix games in which the agents would otherwise learn to defect with high probability. We show that the resulting cooperative outcome is stable in certain games even if the planning agent is turned off after a given number of episodes, while other games require ongoing intervention to maintain mutual cooperation. Finally, we reflect on what the goals of multi-agent reinforcement learning should be in the first place, and discuss the necessary building blocks towards the goal of building cooperative AI.
... Cooperation often becomes possible through various mechanisms including direct reciprocity [1], indirect reciprocity [2], social norms [3] and institutions that are specifically designed to solve social dilemmas [4]. For instance, modern societies have succeeded in dramatically reducing rates of violence [5], through institutions like the police and the judicial system as well as strong social norms of non-violence. ...
... This is often referred to as mechanism design. For instance, institutions such as the police and the judicial system incentivize humans to cooperate in the social dilemma of peaceful coexistence, and have succeeded in dramatically reducing rates of violence [5]. ...
... In the following, we summarize the experimental results. 5 resulting degree of cooperation is at least somewhat higher than the baseline of a mean reward of 0 (which results from both agents picking up coins of both colours). ...
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Full-text available
In the future, artificial learning agents are likely to become increasingly widespread in our society. They will interact with both other learning agents and humans in a variety of complex settings including social dilemmas. We argue that there is a need for research on the intersection between game theory and artificial intelligence, with the goal of achieving cooperative artificial intelligence that can navigate social dilemmas well. We consider the problem of how an external agent can promote cooperation between artificial learners by distributing additional rewards and punishments based on observing the actions of the learners. We propose a rule for automatically learning how to create the right incentives by considering the anticipated parameter updates of each agent. Using this learning rule leads to cooperation with high social welfare in matrix games in which the agents would otherwise learn to defect with high probability. We show that the resulting cooperative outcome is stable in certain games even if the planning agent is turned off after a given number of episodes, while other games require ongoing intervention to maintain mutual cooperation. Finally, we reflect on what the goals of multi-agent reinforcement learning should be in the first place, and discuss the necessary building blocks towards the goal of building cooperative AI.
... 49 Scarborough and Valdez 2009, 2014. 50 Gunn et al. 2017Pinker 2011. 51 Scarborough and Valdez 2014. ...
... Hobbes 1651 Hobbes /1957Pinker 2011. 2 Contra Boehm 2012Fry 2006;Hrdy 2009;Stanish 2017. ...
... Bioarchaeologists have a long history of addressing inter-personal violence in groups of small size, including topics such as cannibalism (Turner II & Turner, 1999;White, 1992), torture (Osterholtz, 2012), massacre (Meyer et al., 2015), suspected sacrifice (Lefranc et al., 2018) and mutilation (Chenal et al., 2015). Even so, the popular and frequently cited treatments of temporal trends in violence are commonly published outside the field, though some use bioarchaeological data (e.g., Pinker, 2011). As Milner (1999Milner ( , 2007Milner ( , 2019 and others have emphasized, generalizations about the apparent violent tendencies of humankind require regional sequences and detailed analyses of specific communities, rather than samples collected from across the globe with little regard for archaeological, historical, and cultural contexts. ...
... Comparisons of temporal sequences across vastly different regionshave underscored the lack of directionality implied by popular writers such asPinker (2011). For example, a detailed study of cranial trauma and fortifications among pre-contact Andean groups from 8000 BCE to 1532 CE revealed considerable evidence of violence during the late Early Horizon (400 BCE-100 CE) and then again during the Late Intermediate Period (1000-1400 CE) with an apparent lull in between(Arkush & Tung, 2013; see also,Pilloud & Schwitalla, 2020;Redfern, 2020;Robbins Schug, 2020;Torres-Rouff, 2020). ...
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This article presents outcomes from a Workshop entitled “Bioarchaeology: Taking Stock and Moving Forward,” which was held at Arizona State University (ASU) on March 6–8, 2020. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the School of Human Evolution and Social Change (ASU), and the Center for Bioarchaeological Research (CBR, ASU), the Workshop's overall goal was to explore reasons why research proposals submitted by bioarchaeologists, both graduate students and established scholars, fared disproportionately poorly within recent NSF Anthropology Program competitions and to offer advice for increasing success. Therefore, this Workshop comprised 43 international scholars and four advanced graduate students with a history of successful grant acquisition, primarily from the United States. Ultimately, we focused on two related aims: (1) best practices for improving research designs and training and (2) evaluating topics of contemporary significance that reverberate through history and beyond as promising trajectories for bioarchaeological research. Among the former were contextual grounding, research question/hypothesis generation, statistical procedures appropriate for small samples and mixed qualitative/quantitative data, the salience of Bayesian methods, and training program content. Topical foci included ethics, social inequality, identity (including intersectionality), climate change, migration, violence, epidemic disease, adaptability/plasticity, the osteological paradox, and the developmental origins of health and disease. Given the profound changes required globally to address decolonization in the 21st century, this concern also entered many formal and informal discussions.
... While international relations (IR) might not be pure anarchy [3], states currently exist in a situation in which there is no common power who can govern like national governments do on the domestic level. While long periods of peace in parts of the world lead some to argue that the states system can provide order [2], and that we are also moving in the right direction [4], here I focus on two cases that highlight the limitations of the current order. The two cases are Russia's war in Ukraine in 2022 and the ongoing environmental crisis. ...
... Hobbes' use of rhetoric in Leviathan is a key reason to suspect that the quote about the misery in the state of nature may be an exaggeration. 4 Skinner [36] points to Hobbes' statements in The Elements of Law and De Cive, regarding scientific arguments being sufficient to convince the reader, and that he seems to have changed his mind when writing Leviathan, as he is there more liberal in employing rhetorical devices to make his points. 5 This is made clear in the following quote from Leviathan: "Again, in all deliberations, and in all pleadings, the faculty of solid reasoning is necessary: for without it, the resolutions of men are rash, and their sentences unjust: and yet if there be not powerful eloquence [rhetorics], which procureth attention and consent, the effect of reason will be little" [1]. ...
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The legitimacy of government is often linked to its ability to maintain order and secure peace. Thomas Hobbes’ political philosophy provides a clear description of why government is neces-sary, as human nature and the structures emerging out of human social interaction are such that order and peace will not naturally emerge to a sufficient degree. Hobbes’ general argument is of-ten accepted at the national level, but in this article, I explore why a Hobbesian argument for the international level—an argument for world government—is deducible from his philosophy. Hobbes builds his philosophy on his conception of human nature and argues that individuals’ in-terests and preferences should be the determinant for evaluating the value of a political entity. By emphasising these aspects of Hobbes’ theory, I argue that several contemporary phenomena sug-gest that a world government could be preferable to the states system. The cases used are the out-break of war in Europe in 2022 and the continuing and accelerating environmental crisis. Through this examination, the continued relevance of Hobbes’ political philosophy is demon-strated, and according to Hobbes’ own logic, those who accept the argument should also seek to implement such a solution.
... Pinker (2011) beskriver for eksempel "den lange freden" som nedgangen i organiserte konflikter av alle slag siden slutten av Den kalde krigen. 32 Stoltenberg uttalte: "Vi må styrke overvåking og etterretning. ...
... In the intermediate case, BARTER, where there is 1-on-1 exchange between some individuals but not others, people will be inclined to be kind to their trading partners but not to others. Our theoretical insights harmonize well with some prominent thoughts about key transitions that occurred through economic history mentioned earlier, such as those provided by Pinker (2011) and McCloskey (2006, 2010, and they are also consistent with cross-cultural experimental findings of Henrich et al. (2001Henrich et al. ( , 2004Henrich et al. ( , 2005). Yet, none of these studies could of course identify causal links and there are several potential mechanisms behind the observed patterns, e.g., related to the rapid income increase resulting from the development of market economies. ...
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Does market interaction influence morality? We study a particular angle of this classic question theoretically and experimentally. The novelty of our approach is to posit that people are motivated by reciprocity – an urge many argue affects humans. While many have suggested that market interactions make people more selfish, our reciprocity-based theory allows that market interaction on the contrary induces more prosociality. Our experiment provides a test of the empirical relevance of such an effect, in some highly stylized settings. The results are broadly (but not completely) supportive. They may shed light on the development of morality and prosocial behavior over time, with respect to episodes in history where the nature of commerce was transformed.
... Within and beyond anthropology, there has been sustained academic interest in whether humans have, on average, become more or less violent with the passage of time, especially following landmark shifts to agriculture, complex society (including states), and modernity (e.g., Gat, 2006;Keeley, 1996;Leblanc and Register, 2003;Morris, 2014;Pinker, 2011;Scherer, 2021). Of particular interest has been the role violence has played in the formation, maintenance, and collapse of states and other complex political formations. ...
Article
Through a case study of the Classic period (A.D. 350–900) kingdom of Piedras Negras, this paper addresses a number of debates in the archaeology of war among the ancient Maya. These findings have broader comparative use in ongoing attempts to understand war in the precolonial Americas, including the frequency of war, its role in processes of polity formation and collapse, the involvement of non-elites in combat, and the cause and effect of captive-taking. This paper provides the first synthesis of a number of datasets pertaining to war and violence in the region of Piedras Negras while presenting new settlement data gleaned from recent lidar survey of the area. Focus is especially on tracing the material, iconographic, and epigraphic evidence for war in diachronic perspective. Material evidence includes the spatial distribution of settlement, presence of fortifications, weaponry, and human skeletal remains demonstrating evidence of traumatic injury. Additional data are drawn from epigraphy and iconography. As with all archaeological contexts, there are crucial gaps in the record. Nevertheless, by combining these datasets it is possible to reconstruct a history of warfare within this precolonial indigenous polity of the first millennium.
... Again, within the forestry fraternity, there had been views that in the 1970s to 1990s, humans had tended to be compliant to laws and thus appeared to be in general, more law-abiding (Green et al., 2005) compared to the 2000s. This is in contrast to the views of Pinker (2011) and Wente (2015) (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-worlds-nicest-most-law-abidinggeneration/article25249936/) who indicated that over time, humans have become much more law-abiding and violent crimes have reduced. ...
... Universities have played an increasingly important role throughout their long history (for example, the Universities of Bologna, Paris, Oxford and Cambridge dating back to 1088, 1150, 1167 and 1209 respectively), starting out as elite institutions before transforming into mass institutions in recent decades. Their role in the enlightenment, humanism and prosperity of societies is of immense importance, and as such they have changed societies for the better (Pinker, 2011). The flipside of this is that HEIs' activities have 3 For critically appreciative perspectives on the SDGs see for example Eisenmenger et al., 2020;Fukuda-Parr and Muchhala, 2020;or Leal Filho et al., 2018. ...
... One of the general problems of trying to assess the impact and efficacy of multilateral organisations is that it is difficult to know how much impact they have actually had. In the case of interstate warfare, for example, one of the most widely acknowledged developments in the study of security, generally has been the remarkable decline of interstate conflict across the world (Pinker, 2012). In this regard, ASEAN is part of the rule, not an exception. ...
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At a time when the world faces a number of complex problems that transcend national borders and which individual states appear unable to address on their own, multilateralism ought to matter more than ever. All too often, however, attempts to encourage collaborative and effective responses to transnational problems are unable to overcome national interests, or lack the capacity to address novel challenges that defy easy resolution. Despite the urgent need for international cooperation, it is often conspicuous by its absence and it is not unreasonable to ask, does multilateralism really matter anymore? We argue that it does, if only because, there is no alternative. To illustrate multilateralism's weaknesses and potential strengths we provide a novel comparison of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Arctic Council, which reveals the importance of history, diplomatic styles, the significance of issue areas, and the motivations of members. The two bodies literally and metaphorically illustrate developments in the North and South, and provide a novel and revealing benchmark for measuring the success of multilateral bodies at different moments in history.
... For example, the assumption that sport is sublimated warfare or collective aggression is well known in the research literature. Pinker (2011) presented evidence of diminishing violence in the world (and specifically in the western world) over the past several centuries, both in the form of war and domestic violence. Sports provides an outlet and alternative means of release of human aggression i.e., the popularity of sport might increase as peace becomes more prevalent. ...
Article
Media events theory, developed by Katz and Dayan in the 1990s, has become one of the most well-known and cited theories in communications research, well-aligned with television’s central role in social life at the time. However, three decades since, in which events have spilled over to other media spaces thereby reshaping the theory’s underlying concept, sports broadcasts have remained a consistently stable source of media events. Although the original theory addressed media events as a rare phenomenon of a distinct, well-defined nature, the current study describes sports events that globally now constitute a sequence of routine mega media events that effectively function as a key anchor in traditional television programing. In the era of multiple screens, content abundance, and flexible viewing times, media events have become classic linear television’s programing core—instrumental in retaining its viewer base and in exploiting television’s advantage over rival screens and content. As a result, sport has become television’s main resource, thus indicating a need to revise elements of media theory. This study suggests several revision possibilities and what they entail methodologically for researchers.
... Cinco aportes civilizatorios del rock de los setenta Pacifismo Steven Pinker ha defendido la idea de que la contracultura hippie de los años sesenta del siglo xx fue, en rigor, un movimiento anticivilizatorio, pero justo lo ha hecho en el marco de su sorprenden-te reivindicación actual de un progreso integral de la humanidad (Pinker, 2011;. En su opinión y como lo ha sostenido en sus dos importantes libros de los años 2011 y 2018, es muy posible afirmar que la humanidad ha progresado claramente en los siglos recientes, desde aquellos xvii y xviii hasta el actual xxi, porque tal humanidad ha mejorado en prácticamente todos los aspectos que más le interesan a su vida. ...
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Se trata de un libro que aborda distintos aspectos contemporáneos de la música. El capítulo "Descubriendo el cover", analiza la práctica de producción y consumo de covers en YouTube como forma de reproducción de la industria capitalista de la música pero también como una forma de experimentar el mundo contemporáneo, en palabras de Giddens como un estilo de vida.
... In many societies dramatic changes have occurred within the past couple centuries, and even in the past couple decades (see Varnum & Grossmann, 2017, for a review). Taking a broader historical view, such shifts become even more apparent over longer spans of time (e.g., Kashima, 2014;Pinker, 2012). These changes have profound theoretical, methodological, and real-world implications. ...
Preprint
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Human societies are not static. Attitudes, norms, institutions, behavior, and cultural products shift over time, sometimes with dizzying speed. However psychological science has either largely ignored cultural change or tacitly treated it as a source of noise. These changes in fact have important implications not only for psychological theory and research, but also policy, public health, and daily life. The present special issue draws together cutting-edge research and theory that addresses what one might think of as “the What,” the “Why,” and the “How” of cultural change. The articles encompass a range of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches and focus on a diverse set of phenomena and processes ranging from personality to prejudice, to collective memory. Here we provide a brief overview and introduction, laying out our hopes to encourage more psychologists to consider cultural change in their own research and to join us in the emerging field of cultural dynamics.
... While armed conflict impacts on the landscape are 44 diverse, conflict is a fluid process, and its effect varies according to the local institutions, actors 45 involved, socio-ecological context and war-fighting capabilities. Although an apparent decline 46 in human violence globally remains controversial (Cirillo & Taleb, 2016;Pinker, 2011), many 47 countries emerge from conflict and enter into a post-conflict period. This transition from conflict 48 to relative "peace" poses new socio-political and economic changes that can impact landscape 49 change more negatively than during the conflict period (Grima & Singh, 2019). ...
Preprint
There is a complex interplay of criminal groups control over land, illicit activities, and forest cover change in the Colombian Andes-Amazon region. This area is dealing with diverse forms of conflict and peace, directly impacting landscape connectivity. While many studies have documented rapid deforestation after the peace agreement in 2016, we know little about the effect of these socio-political changes on the state of landscape connectivity. We disentangle habitat from connected habitat in forest ecosystems using the Landsat archive and landscape connectivity indices. We find that in the Andes-Amazon region during 2000-2020, connected habitat loss reached 18%, while habitat loss was 13%. This result is worrisome, because it indicates that well-connected patches are more fragmented and isolated, affecting the natural connections between the Andes and Amazon biogeographical regions and the movement ability of species. The Colombian government should conduct a strategic peacebuilding process incorporating structural changes that prevent the increase of large-scale extractive activities that are often illegal in the region. While finding a balance between extractive activities and conservation remains a big challenge, legal land tenure, census/taxation, and specific agreements with local actors can initially prevent deforestation. We discourage localized military actions and the return of aerial fumigation of coca fields, which rather than stop deforestation might exacerbate land cover change deeper into pristine forests.
... Recently, research has argued that bullying is used sadistically, for no explicit purpose other than fun and recreation (Runions et al., 2018). Some investigators have suggested sadistic aggression may serve several ultimate purposes beyond the immediate experience of enjoyment, including status or dominance seeking and revenge (e.g., Pinker, 2011). Indeed, qualitative interviews have revealed that revenge motives appear to be an important factor for bullying (Thornberg & Delby, 2019). ...
Article
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Bullying is a significant problem that has received a great amount of research attention, yet a basic definition of bullying has proven challenging for researchers to agree upon. Differences of definitions between academics and the public pose additional problems for the ongoing study and prevention of bullying. Qualitative methodologies may afford unique insights into the conceptualization of bullying and how we might reconcile existing definitional differences. In particular, we focus on the theoretically derived definition created by Volk et al. (2014). In this definition, three main aspects of bullying behavior are considered: (1) there is a power imbalance between the perpetrator and the victim, (2) the behavior is goal-directed, and (3) the behavior has a harmful impact. We review the qualitative evidence in support of the definition while simultaneously drawing attention to the potentials of qualitative research for furthering our understanding of all definitions of bullying. We argue that qualitative methods provide researchers with a unique perspective that cannot be practically obtained by the more common use of quantitative methods and offer suggestions for future methodological practices to study bullying.
... As observed by Pinker (2011) this transition or withdrawal from violence was a transitional process and the fourth major transition happened after the end of World War II. ...
Presentation
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In understanding how health has changed over the past 100 years, sociology health presentation seeks to: Ascertain what is health? Examine a systems thinking approach framework for analysis. Determine 7 ways in which health has changed globally over the past century. Explore the outcomes.
... These imperfect learning methods introduce variations, some of which fade away while others grow, persist, and displace other beliefs. The structural similarities with Darwinian evolution suggest that cultural evolution is a real and important process complementing the properties of genetic evolution (Dawkins, 1976;Richerson and Boyd, 2005;Pinker, 2011;Buchanan and Powell, 2018). ...
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We AI researchers are concerned about the potential impact of artificially intelligent systems on humanity. In the first half of this essay, I argue that ethics is an evolved body of cultural knowledge that (among other things) encourages individual behavior that promotes the welfare of the society (which in turn promotes the welfare of its individual members). The causal paths involved suggest that trust and cooperation play key roles in this process. In the second half of the essay, I consider whether the key role of trust exposes our society to existential threats. This possibility arises because decision-making agents (humans, AIs, and others) necessarily rely on simplified models to cope with the unbounded complexity of our physical and social world. By selecting actions to maximize a utility measure, a well-formulated game theory model can be a powerful and valuable tool. However, a poorly-formulated game theory model may be uniquely harmful, in cases where the action it recommends deliberately exploits the vulnerability and violates the trust of cooperative partners. Widespread use of such models can erode the overall levels of trust in the society. Cooperation is reduced, resources are constrained, and there is less ability to meet challenges or take advantage of opportunities. Loss of trust will affect humanity’s ability to respond to existential threats such as climate change.
... Čak i kada su međunarodne krize i sporovi u pitanju, one države koje u njima učestvuju, a koje imaju viši nivo rodne ravnopravnosti, pokazuje se da primenjuju nasilje u manjoj meri u odnosu na druge države koje su uključene u sukob (Gizelis, 2009). Jedna od ključnih komponenti argumentacije koja nastoji da teorijski objasni ovaj fenomen umerena je na promene koje su nastupile u domenu tradicionalnih rodnih uloga koje su u vezi sa promenama u društvenim strukturama u kojima su razvijene norme i institucije koje ograničavaju upotrebu nasilja (Pinker, 2011). Ostvarivanje autentične bezbednosti nije moguće dok se ne dekonstruišu, odnosno eliminišu ili, bar, umanje, nejednake strukture mocí roda, rase i klase čime se u paradigmu ljudske bezbednosti uvode ekonomske, socijalne i političke rodne dimenzije (Tickner, 2019: 15). 1 U savremenom upravljanju, javne politike se smatraju jednim od najznačajnih instrumenata budući da uspostavljaju norme i obrasce mišljenja i ponašanja, kreiraju i regulišu političke subjekte, uspostavljaju nove odnose u društvu, definišu probleme i predlažu njihova rešenja, kreiraju nove društvene i semantičke svetove, uspostavljaju režime moći. ...
... Humanity has made tremendous moral, humanitarian, scientific, and technological progress over the course of the past 500 years. The collective efforts of a few generations of people brought about substantial reductions in violence (Pinker, 2011;Roser et al., 2016) and poverty (Roser & Ortiz-Ospina, 2013) and significantly improved our quality of life along many dimensions (e.g., Roser, 2014;Roser & Ortiz-Ospina, 2013). How did we accomplish this impressive amount of progress? ...
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People’s intentional pursuit of prosocial goals and values (i.e., well-doing) is critical to the flourishing of humanity in the long run. Understanding and promoting well-doing is a shared goal across many fields inside and outside of social and personality psychology. Several of these fields are (partially) disconnected from each other and could benefit from more integration of existing knowledge, interdisciplinary collaboration, and cross-fertilization. To foster the transfer and integration of knowledge across these different fields, we provide a brief overview with pointers to some of the key articles in each field, highlight connections, and introduce an integrative model of the psychological mechanisms of well-doing. We identify some gaps in the current understanding of well-doing, such as the paucity of research on well-doing with large and long-lasting positive consequences. Building on this analysis, we identify opportunities for high-impact research on well-doing in social and personality psychology, such as understanding and promoting the effective pursuit of highly impactful altruistic goals.
... Como es natural, la exageración contenida en la fórmula la modernidadcomo-Auschwitz generó una réplica igualmente poco acertada: la modernidad-como-paraíso, como parece defender Pinker (2011). El proyecto moderno nos prometía, en el futuro, ese paraíso, pero fueron pocos los que entendieron que el momento de la emancipación total había llegado mientras escribían sus textos en las más variadas y complejas circunstancias en un mundo que no dejó de estar sometido a presiones y sacudidas ininterrumpidamente a lo largo de todo este periodo. ...
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Durante la modernidad, en los últimos doscientos años, se produjo una laguna en la teoría social, un espacio que era visible para los contemporáneos, pero que no fue integrado con rotundidad en el centro de las reflexiones sobre lo social: nos referimos a lo que aquí denominamos la materia oscura de la modernidad. Este artículo tiene como objetivo poner de manifiesto ese vacío, la manera en que se abordó y se ha venido abordando, así como proponer una definición de dicho concepto. En un segundo momento realizaremos un análisis de los traumas europeos del siglo XX y la relación de ambos con la materia oscura, subrayando la importancia de los aceleradores intensivos de la violencia.
... The constant viewing of violence throughout the media and the Internet have led many to feel that there is more violence today. But according to Pinker (2011), evidence from multiple sources indicates that there is less violence and homicides over time. He credits this change to several factors including the rise of societies with central governments, particularly democracies. ...
... These traits have contributed to the extraordinary successes science has enjoyed for the past several centuries. Humanity is thriving more in the past few centuries than before [2], and rationality with science has greatly contributed. The self-correcting and ever-improving nature of science, when applied to morality, is set to provide the same service for our surthrival. ...
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In this work, I argue that biology provides the basis for morality and that a Surthrival Principle forms its fundamental core. This principle best leads to humans' long-term success as a species. I describe how the Surthrival Principle, derived from established biological tenets, consolidates and accounts for various pronounced maxims (e.g., the United Nations "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"). I apply the Surthrival Principle to show objectively why some practices, popularly considered to be moral, are not. I extend the Surthrival Principle to all moral-capable beings, rendering it universal. Finally, I suggest how this ethos naturally provides purpose to the individual beyond itself.
... Population size may also contribute to these benefits, as larger communities appear less vulnerable to lethal aggression (Falk and Hildebolt, 2017). Pinker (2011) presents evidence that per capita deaths from warfare have generally declined in recent centuries and millennia, even taking into account the exceptional devastation of the world wars of the 20th Century. Insofar as this is the case, increases in the territorial size of states may help protect people from intergroup killing, at least prior to the development of military aircraft and missiles. ...
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Validation of agent-based models is underappreciated in scientific studies even though this process is an important part of ensuring that a model is a reliable research tool. Here we propose modifications to a model validation framework and illustrate this framework with a case study of territorial behavior. In species that defend territories, larger territories provide obvious benefits, such as increased access to food, shelter, and mates. An additional potential benefit is that larger territories could provide protection from intergroup conflict. Considerations from geometry indicate that per capita risk of death from intergroup violence should decrease with increasing territory size, insofar as conflict occurs mainly at the periphery. We tested this inference using computer simulations and data from chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and gray wolves (Canis lupus). We designed an agent-based model that allows territories to vary freely in size and shape. We present a framework for model validation and apply it to our agent-based model to substantiate its accuracy. Simulations from the validated model confirmed the predictions from geometry. Under a broad range of parameter values, per capita mortality rate decreased in larger territories. Similarly, using published data on rates of death from intercommunity aggression in 16 chimpanzee communities, as well as new data from 38 wolf packs, we found that per capita mortality rate correlated negatively with a measure of territory size. These findings indicate that in species with lethal intergroup aggression, one simple aspect of territory geometry – size – has strong effects on mortality. Several lines of evidence indicate that the per capita rates of mortality from warfare have decreased in many human societies over time. One factor contributing to this decrease may be the increasing geographic extent of political entities.
... Čak i kada su međunarodne krize i sporovi u pitanju, one države koje u njima učestvuju, a koje imaju viši nivo rodne ravnopravnosti, pokazuje se da primenjuju nasilje u manjoj meri u odnosu na druge države koje su uključene u sukob (Gizelis, 2009). Jedna od ključnih komponenti argumentacije koja nastoji da teorijski objasni ovaj fenomen umerena je na promene koje su nastupile u domenu tradicionalnih rodnih uloga koje su u vezi sa promenama u društvenim strukturama u kojima su razvijene norme i institucije koje ograničavaju upotrebu nasilja (Pinker, 2011). Ostvarivanje autentične bezbednosti nije moguće dok se ne dekonstruišu, odnosno eliminišu ili, bar, umanje, nejednake strukture mocí roda, rase i klase čime se u paradigmu ljudske bezbednosti uvode ekonomske, socijalne i političke rodne dimenzije (Tickner, 2019: 15). 1 U savremenom upravljanju, javne politike se smatraju jednim od najznačajnih instrumenata budući da uspostavljaju norme i obrasce mišljenja i ponašanja, kreiraju i regulišu političke subjekte, uspostavljaju nove odnose u društvu, definišu probleme i predlažu njihova rešenja, kreiraju nove društvene i semantičke svetove, uspostavljaju režime moći. ...
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This essay sums up 30 years of theory work on economic ethics and presents in particular the Ordonomic research program.
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The article presents an attempt to compare, in a first approximation, the natural patterns of the dynamics of the number of populations of biological species with the dynamics of the human population. Social factors and mechanisms of population reproduction in various regions are considered. The possibilities of population regulation and the effectiveness of state demographic policies are discussed. The study emphasizes the mechanisms of self-defense developed in the course of evolution and manifest in the global trend of declining fertility, due to the approach of critical population density, and in view of limited biospheric resources.
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This report is a compendium of expert insights regarding opportunities for investing in science and technology to increase U.S. ability to engage in long-term competition in undergoverned spaces. This exploration marks an initial step toward developing a functional perspective on determining whether new approaches to strategy and engagement are warranted, and what the implications of those steps might be.
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Black youth violence remains a topical issue for Canadians. It is not unusual to wake up to daily media news of Black youth shootings, stabbings, and beatings in Toronto and surrounding areas. As usual, media’s discourse and public debates around Black youth violence are framed in languages that ultimately suggest that violence is congealed in the culture and DNA of Black families. In such a colonial and racist-charged discussion, differences in Black culture are conflated with physical, biological, mental, and emotional characteristics of Black people. Our central thesis is that Black youth violence in Toronto is neither a pathology nor is an aberrant behaviour of Black families, but it is a symptom of a colonial, racist, and classist society. As such, we argue that increased policing and harsher penalties for perpetrators of violent crimes, as well as draconian policies do not address systemic and institutional anti-Black racism and classism that create displacements, alienation, rejections, and a sense of hopelessness that can motivate Black youth violence. How, then, do we approach the challenge of Black youth violence in Toronto? We explore this question with the premise that Black youth violence concerns all sectors of our society. Accordingly, a collaborative approach among stakeholders and decision-makers is necessary to ensure that the situation is adequately addressed.
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The subdiscipline of public philosophy is in its adolescence. The mark of maturity in philosophy is the introduction of a metatheoretical discourse. The niche subfield “experimental philosophy” tries to incorporate social scientific methods, but like public philosophy, it too is in its adolescence, often falling back on haphazard and poorly defined methodologies. The definition of public philosophy distinguishes between professional philosophers and what would best be termed amateurs, where professional philosophers are analogous to professional athletes – credentialed individuals who do philosophy full time, are paid for their work, and are usually affiliated with education or research‐focused institutions. Public philosophy must contend with the problems of expertise and wisdom, in so far as disciplinary specialization presume a certain level of each. Academic philosophy condemns public philosophy for failing to meet a set of imagined idealized standards that professors romanticize but also fail to meet.
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This chapter finds that the use of digital ethnography (sometimes considered a wonderful new effective way of unearthing truth) interculturally can easily dupe the gullible into confusing presuppositions with research outcomes. The widespread assumption that English communicates accurately between cultures underlies the duplicity. Examples from Africa illustrate how English words can be misleadingly assumed to carry original-native plus foreign meanings both distinctly, yet also simultaneously. Responses to COVID-19 and Protestant theological education practices in Africa illustrate the concern. Widespread veneers of Westernization around the world, in combination with taboos upholding political correctness, build on the hegemony of secularism to conceal consequential goings-on. The chapter concludes that intercultural use of digital ethnography easily results in unhelpful deception.
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This paper critically examines how power is understood and used in archaeological interpretation of prehistoric societies. We argue that studies on power within archaeology have been haltered in their interpretive potential, frequently limited to individualizing coercive power with androcentric connotations. We explore new avenues of power through a retrospective view. Drawing on ideas first conceptualized by Hannah Arendt, while also incorporating theoretical ideas from collective action, anarchistic theory and the affective turn, we argue that power as a phenomenon and explanation within archaeology can be refined and nuanced when approached through a lens of collective agency and the affective potential of material culture. This connects, furthermore, to how we today see and act on changing power dynamics.
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This paper explores our human nature and human (in)competencies in view of what we as humankind have achieved and failed to achieve so far in terms of progress. It goes on to consider the prospects of non-human intelligence with regard to the challenges society and the planet are facing. It was written in preparation of Tilburg University's Science Festival 'Night University'.
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The author's understanding of the role of the social sciences and humanities in preserving and developing science as a sociocultural phenomenon is substantiated. This justification is built as an explication and critical analysis of the program of philosophical research in science and technology, the main content and results of which are presented in the monograph by I.T. Kasavin Science As a Humanistic Project (2020). This article describes how the search for new strategies for the study of science is carried out within the framework of Russian philosophy. The historicity of science is analyzed, and the complex topology of its genesis is shown, which does not fit into the linear scheme of historical continuity, reflecting the synchronous coexistence of different variations of science as a cultural phenomenon. The historicity of science makes us turn to the question of its cultural and historical agency; it is substantiated that this agency acquires a political character in the current activity. How can the political agency of science be perceived and consistently combined with the ethos of the expert community? According to the author, political agency and the range of interests that scientists defend in public are determined by understanding the essence of science as a cultural phenomenon. The existential and cultural-creative functions of science are emphasized; on this basis the author's interpretation of the humanistic project suggested by Kasavin is proposed as a program for the humanization of technoscience.
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