Evolution is often invoked to explain the darker side of human nature, but does it also account for traits like altruism, cooperation, conscience, and a sense of justice? Can a richer view of our evolved nature help us to understand modern society?
Join New York Times columnist David Brooks for a wide-ranging discussion, celebrating the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth, with Michael Gazzaniga (UC-Santa Barbara), Jonathan Haidt (University of Virginia), and Steven Quartz (Caltech).
About the event: "The End of Philosophy" by David Brooks, New York Times, April 6, 2009: Socrates talked. The assumption behind his approach to philosophy, and the approaches of millions of people since, is that moral thinking is mostly a matter of reason and deliberation: Think through moral problems. Find a just principle. Apply it.
One problem with this kind of approach to morality, as Michael Gazzaniga writes in his 2008 book, "Human," is that "it has been hard to find any correlation between moral reasoning and proactive moral behavior, such as helping other people. In fact, in most studies, none has been found."
Today, many psychologists, cognitive scientists and even philosophers embrace a different view of morality. . . . continued