高3高2:全訳英語訂正:Steven Pinker


No.1
Ideas are connected in circuitous ways, and you never know when a discovery in one area will shed light on another.
さまざまな考え方がさまざまな回路を介してつながっているので、思いもかけないときに、ある分野における発見が、別の分野に光を当てるものだ。

以下、ムムな語が連発されるので、Snipping後、jpgにしました。
赤い文字Ellisは原文のまま:Norbert Elias
was a German sociologist of Jewish descent, who later became a British citizen. He is especially famous for his theory of civilizing (and decivilizing) processes.



pinker.jpg

What does this have to do with violence?
これが暴力の話とどんな関係があるのかって。

Contrary to the popular belief that we are living in horrifically violent times, rates of homicide in the West have plummeted ten- to a hundredfold over the centuries. The sociologist Norbert Elias noted that this pacification process, correlated with other changes in everyday manners. Starting in the Late Middle Ages, people stopped blowing their noses onto the dining room table, urinating onto curtains, defecating in public, and giving their eight-year-olds advice about prostitution. Taboos on speaking about excretion and sexuality were part of this development. Ellis lumps these trends into a “civilizing process,” in which the formation of states and complex social networks forced people to exercise their superego (today we would say their prefrontal cortex) to inhibit their first impulses. If this idea is right, it’s another example of how the walls between the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences are obsolete: Medieval history, word usage, and brain function are all connected.ぼくらが生きているこの時代はおぞましいほど暴力的だと広く信じられているけれど、実際はその反対に、西洋における殺人率はこの数世紀で1/10から 1/100くらいまで下がっている。社会学者のノーバート・エリアスは、日常生活における、いろんなマナーの変化と相関性をもった、この(数字の)平坦化の過程について記している。中世後半から、人々はblow their noses onto the dining tableお皿の方に顔をもっていったり、カーテンにおしっこをひっかけたり、公衆の面前で排泄したり、8歳の子どもに売春をもちかけたりするようなことはやらなくなっている。排泄や性を語ることのタブーも、この変化の一部をなしている。エリアスはこうした傾向を一括りにして「文明化過程」と呼んでいる。この過程の中で、人々は形が整った国家や複雑な社会的ネットワークに促されて、超自我(いまでは前頭連合野と言うだろう)を使い、一時的な感情(殺意のような攻撃的な衝動)を抑えるようになる。この考えが正しいなら、人文学・社会科学・自然科学を隔てる壁は時代遅れだという例がここにもひとつあるということになるよね。中世史・語法・脳機能はみんなつながっているんだ。

Steven Pinker is a professor at Harvard University.
His book The Stuff of Thought is out now in paperback.

No.2
In sixteenth-century Paris, a popular form of entertainment was cat-burning, in which a cat was hoisted in a sling on a stage and slowly lowered into a fire. According to historian Norman Davies, "The spectators, including kings and queens, shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized." Today, such sadism would be unthinkable in most of the world. This change in sensibilities is just one example of perhaps the most important and most underappreciated trend in the human saga: Violence has been in decline over long stretches of history, and today we are probably living in the most peaceful moment of our species' time on earth.

In the decade of Darfur* and Iraq, and shortly after the century of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao, the claim that violence has been diminishing may seem somewhere between hallucinatory and obscene. Yet recent studies that seek to quantify the historical ebb and flow of violence point to exactly that conclusion.
以下、省略。

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