Thursday, October 6, 2011

Debunking Pinker

The evolutionary psychologist's "argument that violence is on the way out does not, in the end, rest on scientific investigation," says John Gray — Delusions of peace. The reviewer concludes:
    Pinker’s attempt to ground the hope of peace in science is profoundly instructive, for it testifies to our enduring need for faith. We don’t need science to tell us that humans are violent animals. History and contemporary experience provide more than sufficient evidence. For liberal humanists, the role of science is, in effect, to explain away this evidence. They look to science to show that, over the long run, violence will decline—hence the panoply of statistics and graphs and the resolute avoidance of inconvenient facts. The result is no more credible than the efforts of Marxists to show the scientific necessity of socialism, or free-market economists to demonstrate the permanence of what was until quite recently hailed as the Long Boom. The Long Peace is another such delusion, and just as ephemeral.

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Blogger Pints in NYC said...

Of course, how is PAX to be defined in the first place?

Now there's the rub.

For there is, we are rightly told, a peace that surpasseth all understanding.

October 6, 2011 at 11:34 PM  

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