White Coats and Armchairs: Does Science Tell Us About Human Nature

Friday, November 15, 2013 - 1:00pm
Memorial Union, Room 220 (Turquoise Room)

The question of what, if anything, can be said about human nature is evidently an empirical one, and it is natural to suppose that the sciences provide our best ways of answering empirical questions. In recent years many sciences have keenly stepped up to the plate, putting traditional inquiries from philosophy, religion, law, history or anthropology onto the back foot. In this lecture I query the methodological presumptions that lie behind this imperialism, and urge a more nuanced relationship between the different disciplines.

Simon Blackburn is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as Professor of Philosophy at University of Cambridge. In 2010, he was a featured speaker in ASU's Great Debate: "Can Science Tell us Right from Wrong?" Among his many publications are Practical Tortoise Raising and Other Philosophical Essays, Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed, Lust: The Seven Deadly Sins and Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy.

This event is sponsored by the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies with the support of the Institute for Humanities Research, Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics