Name Thy Demons: The Roots of Human Violence

'The Demons' by David Ryckaert (1612-1661) Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Is human civilization growing less violent? Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker argued the point in his 2011 book 'The Better Angels of Our Nature,' in which he also defined the 'five inner demons' that push us to wrath. Know them -- speak their true names -- and you have the power to undermine their influence. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore Pinker's thesis and draw in supporting research and dissenting opinions.

Related Content:

Wicked Problems (podcast)

The Demon-Haunted Mind (podcast)

The Fist Punch Theory of Evolution (podcast)

Mean World Syndrome(podcast)

Outside Content:

'The Better Angels of Our Nature' by Stephen Pinker

'Your Brain Is Hardwired to Snap' by Simon Worrall

'Steven Pinker is wrong about violence and war' by John Gray

'Is there a war instinct?' by David P. Barash

Topics in this Podcast: violence, human condition, war