a natural history of violence

Whether it is a question of news items, domestic brutalities, social exclusion, confrontations between police officers and citizens, how can we define violence? And where does it come from? How does it manifest itself in other species? A group of experts raises its questions from the angle of natural history to bring a scientific dimension to the notion of violence. An essential work.

Following on from previous manifestos, the Museum is bringing together a committee of experts on a specific subject. Here, anthropologist, eco-ethologist, primatologist, psychologist, sociologist, historian, etc., are convened around the same objective: to explain what the term violence covers, to understand its origins, but also to analyze the causes of its multiple forms. based on scientific facts.

This multidisciplinary approach underlines, among other things, that humans are part of one of the most violent groups of mammals: that of the primates; however, our European societies at the start of the 21st century have never been so pacifist.

Bruno David, President of the Museum at the initiative of this collection launched in 2017, explains in the preamble that “ this manifesto tries to understand where the violence comes from, but not to judge it ».

This document was drawn up by a committee formed in 2021 on the initiative of Bruno David, president of the Natural History Museum (MNHN), paleontologist and biologist. He collaborates with international organizations, is invited to numerous scientific conferences and is very involved in dissemination to the general public.

The authors of this Manifesto are: Laurent Begue-Shankland (professor of social psychology), Caroline Gilbert. (ethologist), Caroline Guibet-Lafaye (sociologist), Guillaume Lecointre (zoologist and systematician), Shelly Masi (eco-anthropologist), Robert Muchembled (historian), Marylène Patou-Mathis (prehistorian), Charles-Edouard de Suremain (ethnologist) .

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