Book Discussion -- Moral Tribes by Joshua Greene (in three sessions)

Our brains were designed for tribal life, for getting along with a select group of others (Us) and for fighting off everyone else (Them).  But modern times have forced the world’s tribes into a shared space, resulting in epic clashes of values along with unprecedented opportunities.  As the world shrinks, the moral lines that divide us become more salient and more puzzling.  In this book, Moral Tribes, Joshua Greene provides a grand synthesis of neuroscience, psychology and philosophy that reveals the underlying causes of modern conflict and lights the way forward.  Join us for a thorough consideration of his ideas in this 3-session book discussion.

July 2—Discussion of Part I and II (Chapters 1-5) Focus: the rise of morality -- from “selfishness” to “groupishness;” the evolution of adaptive instincts and dual-processed brains.

July 16—Discussion of Part III and IV (chapters 6-10) Focus: Greene’s concept of common currency—bridging the gap from “us” to “them;” the case for philosophical utilitarianism.

July 30—Discussion of Part V (chapters 11-12) Focus: deep pragmatism – contemporary moral dilemmas and decisions; building a shared moral standard—metamorality; practicing moral habits.

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