Santa Fe Institute Public Lecture Series

Free Will: Evolution’s Fleeting Gift

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Free Will: Evolution’s Fleeting Gift

Most of us believe that the human brain is unique in its capacity for free will and morality, but mankind has been arguing the reason for that distinction since ancient times, fueling endless and seemly unresolvable scientific and spiritual debate. Drawing on evolutionary biology, philosophy, cognitive neuroscience and economics, philosopher and author Daniel Dennett will argue that evolution can resolve the age-old problems of moral and political freedom. But evolution never stops, prompting Dennett to also consider how the conditions responsible for our freedoms could ultimately be extinguished by those same evolutionary forces -- a sobering reminder never to take our humanity for granted.

Daniel Dennett is the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy and Director, Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. Dennett is often referred to as one of the “Four Horsemen of the New Atheism,” along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens.

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