Practical philosophy: Steven Pinker has a new book on the decline of violence and Peter Singer reviews it

Steven Pinker has been talking on the decline of violence in civilization for some time now (Steven Pinker on the myth of violence at TED). Now he has a new book out The Better Angels of Our Nature and the philosopher Peter Singer has a strong review of it. Singer makes the case for why you want to read it, and if you want to whet your appetite, watch the TED video linked above as well as read the review. Then get the book.

Subject matter aside, what I like about this is how approachable both these philosophers are. (Technically Pinker is a psychologist, but I’d argue that what he is doing is philosophizing.) You may not agree with their thinking and their arguments, but you can think about them. Their philosophy is a practical one. I’d like to see more philosophers being able to write and engage people like this.


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