We’re less than one month into 2015, but already complex conflicts have dominated news headlines. The violent attack on Charlie Hebdo and retaliatory attacks against Muslims in France. Arsons at mosques in Sweden and the anti-Islam protests sweeping Germany and much of Europe. Climate change. The Supreme Court and same-sex marriage. Widespread, systemic inequalities. How can we navigate all of these difficult issues, when so many people seem to have such different values?
Joshua Greene, the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences and director of the Moral Cognition Laboratory at Harvard University, addresses this problem head on in his book Moral Tribes. While our brains were designed for tribal life — for getting along with a select group of others (Us) and for fighting off everyone else (Them) — modern times have forced the world’s tribes into a shared space, resulting in epic clashes of values. As the world shrinks, the moral lines that divide us become more salient and more puzzling — and we wonder where, if at all, we can find our common ground.
On February 5 at 7 PM in LC 317 (Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High Street, New Haven, CT) at Yale, Greene will use neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy to address this question: How can we get along with Them when what they want feels so wrong to Us? This talk, sponsored by Yale Humanist Community, is free and open to the public.
“After two and a half millennia, it’s rare to come across a genuinely new idea on the nature of morality, but in this book Joshua Greene advances not one but several… Moral Tribes is a landmark in our understanding of morality and the moral sense.” -Steven Pinker
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