Santa Fe Institute

On Moral Progress: Is the Human Conscience Led by the Head or the Heart?

Community Event

August 14, 2013
7:30 PM
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 

To Follow the live Twitter feed visit: @sfi_live or follow the Hashtag #sfi_live

Purpose: Community Event

SFI Host: Ginger Richardson

  • * SFI community lectures are free, open, & accessible to the public.
  • * Other SFI events are by invitation only.

Events News

Happening now at SFI: Working group seeks new algorithms for an old problem May 16, 2016 -

Deciding whether two symmetries are alike is a longstanding problem in group theory, the mathematical study of symmetry. This week at SFI, a working group meets to tackle the mathematical ...

Teacher Natalie Martino, 13 seniors recognized for scientific excellence May 9, 2016 -

In an evening ceremony last week at SFI, the Institute recognized teacher Natalie Martino and 13 Santa Fe-area high school seniors for scientific excellence.

Video: Carlos Castillo-Chavez on deadly lessons from emerging diseases May 6, 2016 -

On April 12, Carlos Castillo-Chavez unraveled the complex factors that fuel the spread of deadly diseases, and how we can use our knowledge of them to prevent future outbreaks. Watch ...

SFI to participate in unprecedented evolutionary research project April 8, 2016 -

A collaboration of international researchers, including four SFI scientists, has been awarded $8 million to extend our understanding of evolution.

Delivering energy with tomorrow's power grid March 30, 2016 -

An interdisciplinary workshop at SFI this week is exploring the complex nature of the North American power grid's transition to a more decentralized, better regulated, and greener version of ...

More News