August 14, 2013
James A. Little Theater
On Moral Progress: Is the Human Conscience Led by the Head or the Heart?
Is the human conscience led by the head or the heart? Is the moral progress we have enjoyed – religious freedom, the abolition of slavery, anti-war movements, civil, women’s, and gay rights – a gift of empathy and emotion, or of reason and logic? Psychologist and author Steven Pinker and philosopher and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein survey the history of moral progress in human society, a history, they say, suggesting that reason and logic have had a surprisingly powerful role in shaping the human condition.
Steven Pinker is a Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language and cognition and is the author of seven books, most recently The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is an American novelist and professor of philosophy. She has written five novels, a number of short stories and essays, and biographical studies of mathematician Kurt Gödel and philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Goldstein was a 2011 Santa Fe Institute Miller Scholar.
Lectures are free and open to the public. Seating is limited.
Sponsored by Los Alamos National Bank
Watch it on our live webcast on SFI's YouTube Page
Purpose: Community Event
SFI Host: Ginger Richardson
During an SFI Community Lecture November 18 in Santa Fe, neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland explained the neural workings that underlie identity. Watch it here.
Months before the release of Cormac McCarthy's forthcoming novel, an auditorium-capacity crowd – including a reporter from Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the largest-circulation daily newspaper in Germany – was treated to a reading ...
A working group this week at SFI takes on the complex social problem of obesity, as collaborators test and refine an agent-based model for a pilot intervention.
Ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and other experts are gathered at SFI this week to ask why certain species, when faced with environmental stressors, invest in complex life strategies.