December 17, 2013
Two books by David Livingstone Smith, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, were mentioned recently in online articles.
In a December 17, 2013 ceasefiremagazine.co commentary on the new documentary Dirty Wars, which examines the U.S.’s war on terror, author Roger Bromley notes that in preparation for writing the commentary, he found it “helpful to look at some of the arguments in David Livingstone Smith’s excellent book, Less Than Human: Why we Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others (2011).” Bromley writes that Dirty Wars reveals what Smith describes in his book as the “seeking out of low-cost opportunities for killing outsiders.”
A livemint.com article titled “Why do people lie?” which was published on the same day, mentions another of Smith’s books—Why We Lie; The Evolutionary Roots of Deception (2004). The article quotes Smith as explaining that “deception is part of the natural world” and that organisms capable of manipulating the perceptions of others have an evolutionary advantage in terms of avoiding predators and finding mates. According to the article, in an email interview, Smith elaborated that “Human beings are part of this big picture. We, too, deceive one another and this helps us become more successful. However, in our case, the behavior is not instinctive. Humans learn how to lie.”
Read the ceasefiremagazine.co commentary.
Read the livemint.com article.